Proposed D.C. Council Bill Would Mandate HIV Testing In Local Jails
A bill proposed by Washington, D.C., council member Marion Barry (D), which "has been stalled in committee since July," would mandate HIV testing and counseling for all district jail inmates upon admission, the Washington Post reports. Since 2006, the district has administered "voluntary HIV tests to all inmates upon admission, although they can opt out," and "99 percent, or more than 27,000, inmates have opted to take the test, according to the Department of Corrections," the newspaper reports. Walter Smith, executive director of D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Corrections Director Devon Brown and HIV/AIDS Administration Director Shannon Hader all oppose mandatory testing, according to the article. "Twenty-one states test inmates for HIV when they are admitted to prison, according to the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics. But most states test only with an inmate's consent or upon court order" (Ricard, 8/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.