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AIDS Policies Raise Civil Liberties Concerns

By Lawrence O. Gostin


Testing for the AIDS virus and segregation of AIDS carriers raise extremely important civil liberties questions in contemporary corrections. The NPP survey revealed 420 cases of fully diagnosed AIDS cases in state prisons across the country. Given the AIDS-toinfection ratio used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are between 21,000-42,000 prisoners infected with HIV. Up to 30% of these prisoners will probably develop some serious manifestations of AIDS. More importantly, this figure may continue to double every year. Corrections departments have responded to the AIDS crisis in a variety of ways: 90% use the ELISA test to detect antibodies to the AIDS virus (human immunodeficiency virus-HIV); 8% have already instituted systematic screening of the prison population; virtually all states segregate prisoners with AIDS; and educational programs have been undertaken by most systems

Topics: Civil Rights and Discrimination, Health Law and Policy
Publisher: Scholarship @ GEORGETOWN LAW
Year: 1986
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