As the rate of black Americans contracting HIV rises along with the rate of black males incarcerated in the nation's prisons, an AIDS advocacy group is recommending curbing the virus through voluntary tests of prisoners for HIV and by distributing condoms in jails. The recommendations of the National Minority AIDS Council are intended to help inmates who test positive for the virus and protect others from becoming infected by risky sex in jail, reports the Providence Journal.
But in Rhode Island, where inmates are routinely tested for HIV and given free medical care and counseling, corrections officials balk at handing out condoms. Sex is forbidden at the Adult Correctional Institutions. A spokeswoman said, “It's our position, if we provide condoms we'd be condoning coercive sex.”