New Jersey Should Provide Hepatitis C Education and Treatment to Prisoners, Editorial Says
New Jersey "must end the cruel and unusual punishment" of not providing hepatitis C treatment for prisoners infected with the virus, a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial states. Until earlier this year, most inmates who tested positive for hepatitis C were not informed that they had the disease, the editorial states, noting that although New Jersey officials are beginning to "accept responsibility" for prisoners with hepatitis C, the majority of prisoners infected with the virus are still not receiving treatment (Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/16). State corrections officials earlier this month launched a mass notification program to inform all inmates in the state who are infected with hepatitis C of their diagnosis (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/7). The state is now in the process of securing a contract with a prison medical service provider. The Inquirer urges New Jersey officials to adopt a contract that educates inmates about hepatitis C transmission through needles and unprotected sex, informs all prisoners of their diagnosis and provides universal hepatitis C testing for all inmates, saying that "[t]o continue on the current course is not a moral option" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.