The Alabama Department of Corrections has agreed to improve the medical care and treatment of prisoners in its HIV unit as part of a settlement reached in a federal lawsuit challenging the appalling conditions endured by them. Human Rights Watch hopes that Alabama acts with urgency under the settlement agreement to meet its commitments to improve the lives and health of prisoners living with HIV/AIDS.

The settlement agreement requires Alabama to redress problems faced by prisoners living with HIV by hiring additional medical staff, taking measures to ensure effective provision of medications, and improving living conditions. Alabama must also submit the Limestone HIV unit to regular monitoring visits by a medical consultant to ensure that prisoners are treated in accordance with national standards.

In letters to the Governor of Alabama and Department of Corrections officials, Human Rights Watch has called on the state to ensure that conditions of confinement comply with international and U.S. law, and for the state to establish a system of independent monitors to oversee the care and treatment of prisoners living with HIV/AIDS. We hope that Alabama acts with urgency under the settlement agreement to meet its commitments to improve the lives and health of prisoners living with HIV/AIDS.

A copy of the settlement can be accessed here.