Chronic Indifference: HIV/AIDS Services for Immigrants Detained by the United States, Human Rights Watch (2008)

White Papers and Reports

This report describes the failure of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide basic health care services to HIV-positive immigrants living in detention facilities. Due to the passage of new laws that expand mandatory detention and deportation of immigrants – including legal permanent residents--the number of immigrants detained by the United States and the duration of detention has expanded significantly over the past few years. This report describes the failure of the DHS to collect basic information to monitor the health of immigrant detainees with HIV, and the implementation of substandard policies and procedures to ensure appropriate care and services. As the report details, many detainees are deprived of their medication and denied access to medical services until the neglect results in health problems that require serious intervention and even prolonged hospitalization. Moreover, the medical treatment that is provided compromises the confidentiality and safety of HIV-positive detainees. The report outlines recommendations for the DHS, ICE, the Division of Immigration Health Services, and the United States Congress to address these serious concerns.

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