[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 11, 1987

Inescapable Problem: AIDS in Prison

JAMA. 1987;258(22):3215. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400220013002

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


PRISONERS WITH AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) were a focus of concern at the 11th National Conference on Correctional Health Care, held in Chicago. Lambert N. King, MD, PhD, medical director, St Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center, New York City, told participants, "AIDS and HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] infection in prisons present unprecedented problems."

Among these problems are how (and whether) to determine who is infected, how and where to incarcerate persons who test positive for HIV antibody or develop overt disease, who will pay for therapy, how to stem the spread of infection (tattooing and anal intercourse are issues here), and how to deal with questions of confidentiality and with less-than-optimal response by correctional officers and administrative staff. The difficulty of finding solutions to all of the problems appears to be exacerbated by a tangle of statutes, recommendations, and pending legislation that vary from state to state. Also, it seems