A reader writes:
I may be exposing my ignorance, but my first reaction to the separation of HIV+ inmates from the general population is that it's a misguided attempt to deal with a particular long-term effect of rape and infection. I'd be very interested in debating how to stop rape from being an ipso facto part of many people's sentences in this country.
Sara Mayeux of the Prison Law Blog addresses such concerns:
This is not at all to deny that HIV transmission among prisoners is a real and serious public health threat and one that prison officials should be doing everything they can to prevent. Indeed, the World Health Organisation has identified prisons as key sites for spreading the pandemic worldwide, given that prisons are characterized by “overcrowding, poor nutrition, limited access to health care, continued drug use, unsafe injecting practices, unprotected sex and tattooing.” But the idea, peddled by Jon Ozmint, that South Carolina can do nothing to prevent HIV transmission unless it is allowed to deny HIV-positive prisoners equal and humane treatment is simply unacceptable, which is precisely why, I assume, the DOJ Civil Rights Division is considering litigation.
She follows up here.