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HepC and the prison system

Discussion in 'HEP C HIV' started by gk, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. gk

    gk Well-Known Member

    Many of you folks, I KNOW have been to jail or prison. It is durned hard to be an addict for very long without "the law" stepping in! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA of the prevalence of Hep C inside the prison system????

    I DO! For, although I have never been in prison myself, I have been involved in inmate advocacy for more than 26 years! (Don't be too shocked.)

    Last January at a Hep C conference in San Antonio, sponsored by the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, the following interesting stats about Hep C (and general health care) for inmates was released.


    TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO, in 1982, the Centre for Disease Control recommended that all long-term prison inmates be vaccinated against Hepatitis B! (DO NOT confuse this with Hep C, for which there is NO vaccine!) Very few states have implemented a Hep B vaccination program.

    SEVEN YEARS AGO, in 1996, 155,000 Hep B positive inmates were released from prison, with untreated Hep B. Many are not even aware they are infected!

    SEVEN YEARS AGO, in 1996, 1 million, four hundred thousand Hep C postive inmates were released untreated!

    NO ONE KEPT STATS on how many of the ELEVEN and a HALF MILLION inmates who were released in 1998 had active Hep C!

    SEVEN YEARS AGO, in 1996, 35% of the U.S. Population with active Tuberculosis, were ex-inmates!

    SEVEN YEARS AGO, in 1996, 17% of the U.S. population with AIDS were ex-inmates!

    SEVEN YEARS AGO, in 1996,
    ...18% of all U.S. inmates had untreated HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
    ...18% were diagnosed as MANIC-DEPRESSIVES, and were untreated.
    ...22-30% were diagnosed as having ACUTE ANXIETY DISORDERS, and were untreated.


    LAST YEAR, in 2002, at Texas HIV clinics...

    ... 23% of everyone who walked in for HIV tests, had Hep C!
    ...12% of them have Stage 2 liver fibrosis.

    THIRTY-THREE PERCENT of Texas inmates have Hep C!!!

    Of 1,020 inmates interviewed in Prison...
    ...16% were intravenous drug users.
    ...EIGHTY-TWO PERCENT of the intravenous drug users have Hep C!
    ...inmates who are intravenous drug users are FIFTY-FIVE TIMES more likely to get Hep C that the average population.


    SEVENTEEN THOUSAND people in the U.S. are presently on waiting lists for liver transplants.

    At HIV clinics in various cities, the following were discovered to also have Hep C:

    Los Angeles - 20%
    Chicago - 30%
    New Orleans - 35%
    Harlem - 50%
    Baltimore - 55%

    Twenty-two percent (22%) of people diagnoses with Hep C, at these clinics are also Hep B positive!


    Now folks, do you wonder WHY this silent epidemic of neglect as it affects inmates and their families, bothers me just a little?????


    The good news is that:

    MANY a class action lawsuit have been filed against various states, for this APPALLING UNTRETED EPIDEMIC! In Dec. 2002, a suit was filed against the state of Michigan, charging that 1) state prison officials have allowed infectious diseases to reach epidemic proportions in their system, 2) the state has failed to adequately test inmates, and 3) the state has failed to TREAT inmates for infectious diseases.
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