Alabama Forces Prisoners With HIV To Wear Armbands

That has always worked out so well


You can't tell by looking at someone whether he or she is living with HIV. That is, unless you catch a glimpse of a man who's living with HIV in the state of Alabama's prison system.

There are over 200 male prisoners living with HIV in Alabama.  The Alabama Department of Corrections requires each of them to wear a white armband at all times, making their health status obvious to other inmates, prison staff, and visitors.  The practice is a huge affront to prisoners' privacy and confidentiality, and it's one of several forms of discrimination against prisoners living with HIV that we're fighting to stop in the Henderson v. Thomascase, currently on trial in federal court in Montgomery. As we've said before, public health authorities have been explaining since the 1980s that routine physical contact does not transmit HIV.