The American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project (ACLU-NPP) and Human Rights Watch have published a report on the continued segregation of HIV positive prisoners in Alabama and South Carolina. The report covers the unjust treatment that HIV positive prisoners receive in these states, including separate living, recreational, and eating facilities; a lack of equal access to in-prison jobs; and most HIV-positive prisoners wear a marker signifying their HIV status. Alabama, South Carolina, and, up until recently, Mississippi, continue to be the only states in the nation to segregate prisoners based on HIV status. The HIV-positive prisoner population in these states are marginalized as a matter of public policy without any medical justification and are discriminated against based on HIV status. This type of treatment violates human rights laws and contravenes international and US guidelines for prison management. Furthermore, due to the prejudice, stigma, and hostility these prisoners face from staff and other inmates such policies amount to cruel and unusual punishment. The report calls for the immediate end to these isolation policies that segregate and discriminate against those living with HIV.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.