AIDS Behind Bars
When a gay male inmate at Rahway State Prison in New Jersey began losing weight, the other inmates immediately suspected that he has AIDS. Prison officials rejected their demand to move him out of the cellblock. So, one day while the inmate was out, his cell was set afire. We demand: response to the needs of people with AIDS and AIDS Related Complex in prison - not to hysteria, bigotry and ignorance.From 1981 to 1986, there have been 1,232 confirmed AIDS cases in U.S.. prisons and jails. To date there have been 737 AIDS inmate deaths in New York State facilities. 90% of people with AIDS who have died in prison are Hispanic or Black, poor and with a history of IV-drug use. The men are most often single with an average age of 34. The women are most often separated or divorced, with an average age of 34, and mothers of 2 or more children. Inmates diagnosed with AIDS survive only about one third as long as AIDS patients in the general population. We demand: Adequate health care in prison - decent facilities, access to all therapeutic treatments, a full staff of competent & compassionate health care workers.All women and men prisoners too ill to be treated in the prison wards are moved to civilian wards. There they are manacled to their beds by their legs with cuffs attached to eight inch chains. These patients may be kept chained to their beds around the clock for months. We demand: end the shacking of prisoners with AIDS. New York State prisons, among others, segregate all prisoners with AIDS and ARC. Segregation means: no access to recreation, education or work release programs; it means no due-process for prisoners; and it means being permanently branded for stigmatization and abuse. We demand: no segregation and discrimination of people with AIDS or ARC, or persons testing positive, or perceived to be at risk for AIDS. Although AIDS cannot be spread through casual contact, prisoners with AIDS are brought to court in separate vans, wearing special disposable plastic handcuffs, while court officers wear gloves and some wear surgical masks. We demand: comprehensive, effective and ongoing education for prisoners and correction officers. Sex between inmates is a fact of prison life - so are drugs. We demand: explicit safe sex and safe 'works' education - distribution of clean works, free condoms and dental dams in prisons. Stop the spread of AIDS in prisons. We demand: No forced testing of prisoners for HIV infection. Counseling and support for prisoners with AIDS and their families. Medical and compassionate parole and release programs. Appointment of an embudsperson at the state level to coordinate an effective, humane policy regarding HIV infection among prisoners. AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, NY / AIDS Coalition to Network, Organize and Win. ACT-UP is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis."
Black text on white background, with "Silence=Death" triangle in circle logo.
AIDS Education Collection
AIDS phobiaCivil rightsDiscriminationHIV-positive personsPrisonsRespect
New York, USA
35.5cm x 23.5cm
University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries, Department of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation
[Item title, item date], AIDS Education Collection; Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation; River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester.
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