HIV on the Inside
As the contributors to this issue of ACRIA Update make clear, the twin epidemics of HIV and HCV continue to seriously impact the health and well-being of prisoners across the U.S. For those who have never been incarcerated, it is all too easy to ignore the epidemic that is raging behind the bars of this country's prison system. But with a quarter of all people with HIV receiving their care while in prison, any attempt to address the HIV epidemic must look seriously at the quality of care, and the quality of life, of people living "on the inside."
Unlike any previous issue of ACRIA Update, we found when contacting writers that many felt constrained in their ability to speak out against problems in the prison system. Whether they feared losing funding or were reluctant to criticize their employers, more than one author we approached did not feel they could write a piece that told the unvarnished truth about HIV in prison.
Likewise, many prisoners were unable to speak honestly, for fear of reprisals from both the correctional system and other inmates. We applaud those who did contribute and who even asked us to sign their name in spite of the consequences of such outspokenness. We can only hope their courage is met by an equal commitment from those of us "on the outside."
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.