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Did An Illinois Jail Refuse This Inmate His HIV Meds?

When Arick Buckles got jailed last September for writing hot checks, he allegedly asked a Bureau County Jailer to help him get his HIV meds. Jail officials reportedly told him that “he couldn’t have his own pills brought to him from home because he kept them in a day-by-day organizer, not in their original containers.” Then they said they couldn’t buy him new medicine because his pill combo costs more than $2,000 a month.

So what’s a poz inmate to do?

Buckles only spent a week in jail and so he was able to get back on his meds quickly, but other HIV+ inmates aren’t always so lucky:

ACLU attorney John Knight said poor HIV treatment is a common problem in jails and prisons, partly because of the high cost of the drugs. The Illinois ACLU has received similar complaints from HIV-positive former jail detainees in St. Clair and La Salle counties, including from a woman who said her virus count went from undetectable to detectable after a month in jail without medications, Knight said.??

Last year, a former inmate sued Cook County claiming he didn’t get his HIV drugs while in jail, and 16 federal lawsuits were filed by HIV-positive inmates claiming their treatment was delayed or denied…

Peoria-based Advanced Correctional Healthcare delivers the jail’s health services for about $35,000 a year. The company’s CEO, Dr. Norman Johnson… downplayed the danger of a delay in treatment, which he acknowledged was a common occurrence in small jails.??”It’s not the end of the world and it’s not going to suddenly reverse the patient’s health,” Johnson said. “They’re not suddenly going to crash and burn. That doesn’t happen.”??

Dr. Robert Murphy, an infectious disease specialist from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago said a week without HIV meeds can have “devastating consequences”, making the virus’ effects more pronounced, more drug resistant, and making the person more contagious to others.

Buckle isn’t suing yet because first he would like to see how the Illinois Department of Corrections responds. But he has said, “I’m [just] interested in them correcting what they did wrong,” so that future inmates receive better care.

In the past we’ve discussed how much medical care prisons should provide trans inmates, but this raises a different health issue that isn’t entirely LGBT-related. In fact, regardless of whether Mr. Buckles is even queer, this issue easily cuts across the full sexual spectrum.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Jun 24, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • Sid

      Want them to change their behavior? Make the lawsuit cost more than the pills would have.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981

      No way is this legal. Sue the pants off them.

      Jun 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsinla

      Luc Montagnier says HIV Can Be Cleared Naturally bit dot ly/hSLsaF

      Dr. Nancy Padian 10-year study on HIV transmission bit dot ly/lbJha6 (video) bit.ly/kA0FjO (Paper)

      View the Award winning documentary “House of Numbers” to see why questions about this must be raised, and why deeper issues about HIV and AIDS need to be discussed. Lives are at risk. This is the first documentar y,with the worlds
      foremost authoritie s, that highlights the fundamenta l problems with HIV
      testing, science, and statistics . It sheds new light on a misunderst ood
      phenomenon for which there is still no cure. GO to bit dot ly/kgWo0B

      Jun 25, 2011 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • babylovett

      My name is Alimat, i saw your profile and it was interesting so i would like to know more about you. It will be a pleasure to read from you,if you wouldn’t mind, you can email me in private at (alimatdama25@yahoo. com)
      so that i can reply you quickly and also send my picture for you to know me. I want you to know that real love matters. I will be expecting your mail soon, kiss.
      Your lovely new friend,

      Jun 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marcus Jadotte
      Marcus Jadotte

      Was this guy not light-skinned enough to attract the attention and sympathy of the gay white posters on this site? Perhaps if you changed the photo out with that of a white guy, we would see more responses.

      Sorry light-skinned guy. Contrary to what you thought, you aren’t light enough.

      Jun 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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