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U.S. News

Illinois: U.S. Civil Rights Leader Encourages Inmates to Get Tested for HIV

February 26, 2007

At Chicago's Cook County Jail on Saturday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson took an HIV test and talked to inmates about the importance of knowing their HIV status. Dozens of detainees lined up to take the oral swab, rapid-result test.

"You can help us attack a killer disease before a killer disease kills us all," the civil rights leader told the inmates.

Illinois law requires that inmates be offered HIV testing upon intake at state prisons and prior to their release; however, the tests are voluntary, said Derek Schnapp, a corrections department spokesperson.

Several states are considering measures that would mandate inmate HIV testing. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is expected to introduce a bill in the U.S. House that would require inmates in federal prisons to undergo the test at intake and again upon discharge.

At the Chicago facility, Jackson promised inmates they alone would know their results, and he said those who are HIV-positive could access treatment.

Back to other news for February 26, 2007

Adapted from:
Associated Press
02.23.07; Don Babwin

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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