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Human Rights
Report Criticizes Care of Detainees with AIDS

Human Rights
Report Criticizes Care of Detainees with AIDS

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides inadequate care for illegal immigrant detainees with HIV or AIDS, according to a new report by a civil rights group.

The study by Human Rights Watch concluded that facilities failed to deliver complete antiretroviral regimens consistently, failed to prescribe prophylactic medications to prevent infections, and failed to ensure continuity of care when detainees transferred facilities.

''We found the medical care in three types of facilities, representing nine states, was delayed, interrupted or inconsistent,'' said Megan McLemore, who authored the report.

The group says it issued the report to encourage the government to improve the screening and treatment of infected detainees at government or privately contracted facilities that house about 30,000 immigrants daily.

Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the disagreed with the findings. Kice said that ''ensuring the welfare and safety of those in our custody is one of our top priorities.''

McLemore interviewed current and former detainees, and Homeland Security and detention facility officials in California, Alabama, New Jersey, Virginia, and several other states.

The survey was prompted by the death of a 23-year-old transgender inmate at a San Pedro facility. Victor Arellano, who had AIDS, was denied treatment and became gravely ill. He died on July 20. (AP)

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