Commentary & Opinion
U.S. Should Do More to Curb Spread of HIV, Other Diseases in Prisons, Editorial Says
July 22, 2005
The U.S. must do more to curb the spread of HIV and other diseases in its prison systems to reduce the number of people "who get out with infections that endanger society," a New York Times editorial says. Prison has become "the perfect environment" for the spread of HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C because of overcrowding, unprotected sex among inmates and needle sharing among injection drug users, according to the editorial. Therefore, more prisons need to adopt drug treatment and "harm-reduction" methods, such as offering methadone maintenance, condoms, and HIV/AIDS testing and education, the editorial says. Rather than indulge in the "pervasive denial of drug use and sex behind bars," the U.S. needs to realize -- as Europe has done -- that "infections contracted behind bars end up back in the broader society when infected inmates get out," the Times says (New York Times, 7/22).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.