Report targets La. parish jails for inadequate HIV care

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — National advocacy group Human Rights Watch says Louisiana’s locally-run jails fail to provide inmates with proper HIV testing and treatment, in a state with some of the highest HIV infection rates in the country.

Megan McLemore, author of the 70-page report released Tuesday, calls Louisiana “ground zero” for nationwide HIV and incarceration issues.

She says Louisiana ranks second only to Washington, D.C., in new HIV infections, but only five of the state’s 104 parish jails offer routine testing.

According to the report, some inmates say they’ve requested moves from parish jails to state facilities for treatment but the transfers were delayed or never occurred.

Dr. Raman Singh, Louisiana Department of Corrections medical director, responds that prisoners identified to have HIV are moved out of parish jails and into state prisons.