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U.S. News

Texas: Inmate Advocates Work to Close Lapse in HIV Treatment After Discharge

June 30, 2011

Efforts are underway in Texas to ensure that inmates receiving HIV treatment do not fall out of care once they leave the correctional setting.

"Prisoners receive such good [medicine] regimens in prison that most are released with undetectable viral loads," said Janina Daves, re-entry coordinator for the Texas HIV Medication Program (THMP). "If they lapse, that is such a waste of what was expensive medication."

At a summit on the issue, state officials agreed on several strategies to link ex-inmates to services in the community. Officials are using medical discharge planners to help inmates complete applications for treatment programs before they are released, Daves said. Inmates are given contact information for AIDS services groups and phone numbers to call if they run into problems.

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