More than 22,000 inmates are HIV-positive

Poynter’s Al Tompkins spotted a new U.S. Department of Justice report (PDF) on HIV in American prisons. Among other things, the report finds 22,000 HIV-positive inmates, a number which Tompkins points out may be even higher because fewer than half of American states test every inmate that comes through their doors. About 5,672 prisoners have confirmed AIDS, a disease whose complications killed 130 inmates in 2007, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

Here’s Tompkins quoting some particularly interesting numbers from DOJ:

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Prison in Huntsville, Texas. Photo by J. Stephen Conn via Flickr.

The Justice Department said just three states account for 46 percent of all of the HIV cases in state prisons:

“Florida (3,626), New York (3,500) and Texas (2,450) reported the largest number of HIV/AIDS cases. While these three states account for 24 percent of the total state custody population, together they account for 46 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in state prison. New York continues to report large decreases (down 450) in the number of HIV/AIDS cases. Notable increases between 2007 and 2008 were in California (up 246), Missouri (up 169) and Florida (up 166).

The report breaks down how many HIV cases are in each state, by gender, how manyAIDS-related deaths were in each state and the circumstances under which inmates were tested.

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