Nevada begins changing policies for HIV-positive inmates

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Department of Corrections officials say they’ve started taking action to improve their treatment of inmates infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the department last week removed a medical code from its computer system that could have revealed a prisoner’s HIV-positive status to unauthorized staffers.

The U.S. Justice Department concluded last month that Nevada was violating some inmates’ civil rights under policies based largely on outdated, unfounded fears about the transmission of HIV.

The Justice Department sent a letter to State Corrections Director James Dzurenda after investigating complaints from HIV-positive inmates at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs. Dzurenda said in July that the department will stop separating inmates with HIV from the general prison population, among other measures.


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