Washington Law Review


Ayesha Khan


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has posed a formidable challenge to correctional administrators because of the perception that prisons and jails hold high concentrations of individuals at risk of developing the disease. Housing decisions are particularly difficult. Administrators often segregate inmates who have AIDS, ARC or asymptomatic HIV infection from the general prison population by housing them in a separate unit. This Article analyzes whether such a practice violates section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which forbids programs which receive federal financial assistance from discriminating against "otherwise qualified" handicapped persons. The analysis focuses on three issues: the epidemiology of HIV in correctional facilities; whether HIV-positive inmates are "handicapped" under the Act; and whether HIV-positive inmates are "otherwise qualified" to be integrated into the general prison population.

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