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Prisons and Aids: A Public Health Challenge

Prisons and AIDS: A Public Health Challenge

by Ronald Braithwaite, Theodore Hammett and Robert Mayberry

Prisons and AIDS is a well-informed, highly statistical overview of the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in prisons and jails. The book focuses on education programs and the means to implement prevention of HIV infection in prisons and jails, and shows awareness to prisoners' gender, sexual preferences, age and culture. The authors understand prisons are integral institutions in many poor communities and communities of color, and argue that to really be affective AIDS prevention efforts must be continued after prisoners are released.

The central impediment to HIV/AIDS prevention in prison is that condoms and clean needles are almost universally forbidden: regardless of how aware a prisoner is of HIV/AIDS, they don't have legal access to the means of prevention. The authors come out strongly in favor of condom and needle distribution (or at least the means to properly clean needles), as well as for culturally sensitive educational programs targeted at particular at risk groups. They also recommend that these programs be run by peers and/or HIV-positive teachers.

Prisons and AIDS also provides an examination of guards' and prison officials' attitudes towards HIV-positive prisoners and AIDS prevention, and the key role they play in a given program's effectiveness. A survey of the case law on HIV/AIDS in prison, and one on HIV/AIDS in prison globally, are also useful.

To order Prisons and AIDS send $32.95 plus $5.50 shipping and handling to: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 350 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94104, or call (415) 433-1740.

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