State News

HIV testing to be part of prison inmates' health screening

Posted September 25, 2008

— The North Carolina Department of Correction will begin in November screening prison inmates for the virus that causes AIDS.

Correction Department spokesman Keith Acree said Thursday that the testing will be part of a prisoner's routine screening when he or she is admitted to the system or when current inmates get an annual physical.

But the policy does not require prisoners to submit to the screening, Acree said, and they can opt out of testing.

Until now, inmates have had to request an HIV test to get one.

The move to screen for HIV comes after pressure from public health officials, lawmakers and black religious leaders.

Dr. Peter Leone with the North Carolina Division of Public Health said the testing is a moral imperative for prisoners and the public. He says the public must be concerned about inmates who are released from prison.

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  • mpheels Sep 26, 2008

    Can they also opt out of tuberculosis screening?

  • bonnnie Sep 26, 2008

    Should be mandatory testing no opting out!

  • carolina blue sky Sep 25, 2008

    They should be tested coming in and going out.... not only to pretect the public, but also the staff... unfortunately who are not privilege to medical records.

  • nathanius Sep 25, 2008

    I have always wondered how many men become infected with HIV in prison, get out and spread it to their (heterosexual female)partners in the community. No way would I have sex with a man that's been in prison with a STD test if I was a woman. I have heard unprotected sex and rape are rampant in the prison system.

  • Mom of two Sep 25, 2008

    and it should be!!!