In Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Convention Keynote Address, Clinton Calls for HIV Testing of Prisoners
In a keynote address Wednesday night at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's annual convention, former President Bill Clinton called for increased HIV testing of prison inmates, calling prisons "incubators" for the disease and the drug addiction that helps spread it, the Chicago Tribune reports. "The AIDS rates would go down and other good things would happen if we didn't send so many people to jail for so long who do not present a physical threat," he said. He also called for increased education, prevention and treatment efforts in prisons. Clinton, who said HIV/AIDS is "one of the themes shaping his post-presidency," told the gathering of nearly 400 people that the United States has "become complacent" about the disease. "It's creeping back at us from everywhere in the world. America and Americans have to be concerned about that," he said. Clinton echoed Rev. Jesse Jackson's call for "an end to the fear and shame surrounding" HIV/AIDS. Jackson and a group of ministers took HIV tests Tuesday at the Cook County Jail as part of an effort to encourage inmates to get tested (Kalsnes, Chicago Tribune, 8/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.