Officials Say Inmate Refused Consent to AIDS Blood Test

Pinellas County, Fla., Jail officials said inmate Glenn Young, who died of AIDS earlier this year, was given plenty of opportunity to be tested for HIV and perhaps treated for AIDS.

On Feb. 7 the 25-year-old started vomiting and fell, striking his head on a sink or toilet. Paramedics were called, and Young was transported to Humana Northside Hospital, where he died in a matter of hours. An autopsy showed he died from AIDS, seven months after he was booked.

Inmates are asked whether they are HIV-positive when they first arrive at the facility. And they can discuss HIV/AIDS when they undergo a physical examination within their first 14 days of incarceration, jail officials say. But an inmate has to consent to a blood test to learn their HIV status, and Young refused to do that, Pinellas sheriff's officials said.

Inmate James Louis Daniels told Pinellas sheriff's investigators he was with Young the night Young became ill. Young, by then, could not eat and had lost control of his bowels. But, despite the urging of Daniels and other inmates, he refused to go to the jail's medical wing, Daniels reportedly told investigators. Daniels quoted Young as saying, "If I'm going to die, I want to die with my friends," one report said. The other inmates did not know that Young, who was being held on a racketeering charge, had HIV, but they did know he had the inflammatory bowel condition Crohn's disease.

Health workers offered to test Young for HIV earlier during his stay at the jail, but he refused, said Sheriff's Lt. Steve Shipman. "They wanted to do a test with him, but he refused to consent to blood draws and other procedures that would have detected the HIV," Shipman said.

According to Vicki Scotti, program administrator for inmate health care at the jail, from Oct. 1 through March 31, 142 people reported they were HIV-positive when first booked into the jail.

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