Running head: HIV and AIDS in Prison
HIV and AIDS in Prisons
April 24, 2013
The following pages contain information on the AIDS and HIV epidemic within the United States prison system. The characteristics of these inmates will be discussed and how well this population adjusts to the environment. There are some treatments and services provided to these inmates in and outside the walls of the prison. The public views are not very friendly, but the criminal justice system is trying to make it easy for the inmates to return back to society with help on how to cope with the disease.
HIV and AIDS in Prisons
HIV and AIDS are a serious threat for prison populations in many countries, and presents significant challenges for prison and public health officials within the criminal justice system. The HIV rate among prisoners is 5 to 7 times higher than the general society. The rates are higher among African-American prisoners. (HIV in Prisons and Jails, 2013) In many states the criminal justice programs are trying to find ways to treat the diseases within the system and outside the system when the inmate is released. Characteristics
In the prison system majority of the population with the disease are female inmates. They are more than likely to be with multiple sexual partners, prostitutes, injection drug users, or people that have received tattoos from unsterile equipment. In 2008, there were about 20,449 inmates that were HIV positive within state and federal prison systems. Nearly half of the infected inmates are housed in the New York, Florida, and Texas state prison systems.
Many of the challenges that these diseased offenders face is that not all of the prisons offer HIV testing unless there are symptoms, the inmate is known for injection drug use, or the inmate has another deadly disease like hepatitis C. About fifteen states require HIV testing at the entry level. Some require testing during the inmates stay at the facility and others tend to test those inmates that are being released into society.
The problem with an inmate having HIV or AIDS in the facility is very controversial. Depending on the rules of the prison many inmates that test positive for this disease is housed separately from the other inmates and their privacy of health is not quite private anymore. This causes a great concern for HIPAA. Many of these inmates are not treated fairly because of their condition. They also loose privileges that if not positive they otherwise would have been capable of performing. The rights of these inmates are being violated in order to protect the other inmates and staff. Adjustments
Many of these inmates have adjusted very well with the other inmates within the facility. It is the care or treatment that they are concerned with. One thing that is supposed to be guaranteed to all inmates is the right to seek medical attention if needed. This right is not very well held inside prisons. Many people see being incarcerated as losing all rights but this is not the case they lose their right to liberty and freedom not to medical help, or any other constitutional rights that everyone else is capable of receiving outside of prison walls.
The facilities are slowly trying to find better ways of handling these prisoners. They have tried to bring in outside therapy programs for infected inmates as well as providing lifelong counseling and re-entry programs especially for infected inmates. These programs will help the inmates adjust to the inside of a prison as well as how to deal with the disease outside of prison if given the chance of re-entry. These programs are becoming very beneficial for many of the inmates, but one problem still exists. How are the prison systems trying to prevent transference of the disease inside the prisons walls? They say that the inmates are not allowed to make sexual activity inside but there are not measures in...
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