Senate Approves Bill That Would Require HIV Testing in Federal Prisons
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved by voice vote a House-approved bill (HR 1943) that would require HIV/AIDS testing for inmates upon arrival in federal prisons, CQ Today reports. Under the legislation, testing and counseling would be required for inmates when they first enter the prison system, and follow-up testing would be available once a year upon the inmate's request or sooner if the inmate potentially was exposed to HIV infection.
In addition to testing, federal prisons would be required to give inmates living with HIV/AIDS comprehensive medical treatment, as well as testing and treatment referrals for prisoners preparing for release. The Federal Bureau of Prisons would be required to submit a report to Congress on its procedures for testing, preventing and treating infections transmitted sexually or through injection drug use, such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Statistics on HIV test results for inmates also will be required of the bureau (Perine, CQ Today, 9/25).
The House passed the bill by voice vote in September 2007. Current federal law and Bureau of Prisons regulations requires people sentenced to six months or more in prison to receive an HIV test if it is determined that they are at risk for the virus (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/26/2007).