The office of Iowa's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has announced he will sign legislation to modernize that state's archiac HIV tranmission law Friday in a public ceremony.
The bill will be signed at 2:15 p.m. CST in Branstad's formal office in Des Moines.
Tami Haught, an organizer and leader of Community HIV and Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network tells us she's "euphoric" about the announcement.
"We were sure that the governor would sign the bill, but there was always that doubt," Haught said in an email. "Knowing that is going to happen and a formal signing for our bill alone is amazing. All the community education and legislative outreach comes down to this moment."
Nick Rhoades, who was convicted under the Iowa statute and has been challenging that conviction since, was also elated. Under the new law, Rhoades, who as a condition of his conviction was required to register as a tier one sex offender — the highest classification of the most dangerous sex offenders in Iowa — will now be able to have his name removed from the registery.
"This is a victory for everyone already convicted under the current statute, and it is victory for public health for all Iowans," Rhoades told me in an email.
The news comes as nearly 200 advocates from around the world descend on Grinnell College in Grinnell College next week for the first conference on HIV decriminalization.