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Former prisoners
say they were denied HIV treatment

Former prisoners
say they were denied HIV treatment

Two former prisoners at the Passaic County Jail in New Jersey say they were frequently denied treatment for their HIV infections, resulting in lengthy gaps in therapy that could lead to the development of drug-resistant virus, TheRecord of Bergen County, N.J. reports. The two men were jailed for immigration offenses. A 41-year-old Jamaican man who spent three months in Passaic's jail and a total of five years in three different area prisons says his treatment lapses were often linked to long delays in the transfer of his medical records. Attorneys for the man say he was frequently denied timely treatment and as a result has become resistant to many anti-HIV drugs.

A 36-year-old man from Guyana held for five months in the Passaic jail says he missed nearly three weeks of antiretroviral therapy when his medical records were delayed after he was transferred to the prison from New York City's Rikers Island facility. He also says he faced delays in receiving medical examinations at the jail and was denied permission by guards to see the prison doctor.

Passaic County sheriff Jerry Speziale says he had not heard about the complaints from the two former prisoners, but he defended the jail staff. "This is two people you're talking to me about, two people out of 1,700; I think I'm doing pretty good," Speziale told TheRecord.

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