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September 9, 2009

New York May Better Regulate HIV, Hepatitis C Care for Prisoners

A pending bill might require the New York State Health Department to better monitor HIV and hepatitis C health care for prisoners living with the conditions in state correctional facilities, The Associated Press reports. If Governor David Paterson signs the bill into law, state prison oversight will begin immediately while jail monitoring will begin in two years.

According to the article, the law would require state health officials to annually review available HIV and hepatitis care in correctional facilities. The health department would then release reports on its findings and enforce necessary changes.

Currently, health care is overseen by the state Department of Correctional Services, which monitors inmate health care, conducts audits and assesses prison compliance of treatment guidelines. Local jails receive little oversight.

New York state has had one of the highest HIV-positive prison populations, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice. About 3,100 New York inmates are HIV positive, while 7,000 have hepatitis C. The state’s prison population is about 59,400.

Search: hepatitis C, prisoners, New York, Department of Correctional Services

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