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Better Prevention Behind Bars

Better Prevention Behind Bars


Noting that studies have shown prisoners are up to seven times more likely to be HIV-positive than the general population and therefore are more likely to transmit the virus to others while incarcerated or after release, lawmakers are moving forward with plans to make HIV testing of inmates mandatory. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill already passed by the full House that would require HIV tests for all inmates on arrival at federal prisons as well as follow-up tests for those potentially exposed to the virus while incarcerated. In November state prisons in North Carolina began screening all inmates for HIV upon intake -- though prisoners may individually opt out -- and during annual physical exams. Peter Leone of the North Carolina health department said the decision to test all prisoners for infection was a 'moral imperative.' We couldn't agree more.

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