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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

TENNESSEE: No Mandatory HIV Tests: Plan Would Screen Inmates Being Freed


Commercial Appeal (Memphis) (04.20.12) - Tuesday, April 24,

Shelby County commissioners recently debated a plan to screen inmates for HIV prior to their release.

During an April 18 jail budget discussion, Commissioner Henri E. Brooks proposed pre-release HIV testing of inmates as a way to slow the spread of HIV. "Common sense says we need to do this," she said.

"It does not appear unreasonable to test them on the way out of the jail because they've been in an environment where they could contract HIV," Commissioner Brent Taylor noted in support.

Yvonne Madlock of the county health department said HIV tests already are offered to inmates who want them. Approximately 2 percent of those requesting an HIV test are found to be positive, she said. She also cautioned that widespread testing could be complicated by false-negative/positive results. The discussion ended without a vote.

In 2008, Brooks called for the distribution of condoms in the county jail. Then-Sheriff Mark Luttrell shot down that proposal, saying sex between inmates is prohibited.


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Information in this article was accurate in April 24, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.