Saturday, July 16, 2005
A year after the state agreed to improve medical treatment for Alabama's HIV-positive prisoners, shortcomings in care have led a federal court monitor to warn that prisoners could be developing treatment-resistant AIDS.
Dr. Joseph Bick documented four types of "sub-optimal" HIV treatment at Limestone Correctional Facility, where more than 200 HIV-positive inmates are housed. Although state officials promised in a 2004 federal court settlement to hire an HIV specialist for the men, there has not been one during much of the year, leading to erratic treatment.
"The lack of an HIV specialist continues to negatively impact upon the health of this inmate population," Bick wrote after a late May visit in a report filed July 7 with the federal court.