Tenn. Lawmaker Proposes Bill That Would Require HIV Testing Among Prison Inmates Prior to Release
Tennessee state Rep. Brenda Gilmore (D) has introduced a bill (H.B. 52) that would require HIV tests for prison inmates before their release as part of a larger plan to address the spread of HIV/AIDS in the state, WSMV.com reports. According to Gilmore, the plan will focus on blacks, who comprise 64% of new HIV cases in the state but only 13% of the population.
According to Gilmore, the bill will allow former inmates to become more aware of HIV/AIDS issues and take precautionary measures, WSMV.com reports. She said that a recent report showed that many prison inmates return to prison within three years, adding that "this revolving door creates a culture" of HIV/AIDS that particularly affects black women. Last year, Gilmore proposed similar legislation to require HIV testing among inmates prior to release, and the bill passed in the House. However, the Senate did not take action on the bill. According to WSMV.com, Gilmore is waiting for a hearing on the current bill (Kumari, WSMV.com, 3/24).