To acquaint newly arrived inmates with the appropriate information concerning infectious diseases. We believe by educating all inmates on infectious diseases, modes of transmission, preventive measures, the spread of infectious disease will be minimized or prevented.
The following information is made available to you to be used in conjunction with the infectious disease video that you either have viewed or will be viewing during the admission and orientation process. Health Services staff are available through the sick call procedure to answer any questions you may have concerning infectious diseases, including HIV. Remember, most blood-borne infectious agents (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV) can be transmitted in the same ways.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
It is important to remember that a positive HIV blood test does not mean active AIDS. The term “HIV Positive” refers to the presence of antibodies to the HIV virus in the blood stream in sufficient quantity to be picked up by the lab test that is done. More simply, the virus has invaded the body and the body is building up white blood cells in an attempt to protect itself.
The test is picking up the presence of HIV antibodies.
Any person who has been in contact with the HIV virus may become infected. Blood conversion to positive may take from up to six weeks to several months after the initial exposure to the HIV Vlrus. For this reason, when a person’s test is negative, blood test is negative for the HIV virus at that moment in time.
This does not necessarily mean the person will be negative at the next test. If the person being tested had participated in high-risk activities (eg. needle-sharing, unprotected sex) and there was an exposure to the HIV virus, then the person being tested “could” test positive on later tests. This is what causes a false sense of security. The infected person could be in the process of converting to positive and not know it. This is a highly infectious time in which the virus can be spread to others. Quite simply, many other people place themselves at risk unless proper precautions are taken.
How is the HIV virus is spread from person to person?
There are three main routes that will almost 100% guarantee virus spread. They are: l} blood and blood products such as serum and plasma; 2) semen; and 3) vaginal secretions. These body fluids provide a good living environment and the necessary conditions for the virus to live and thrive.
It is vital that you be aware of what actions cause the spread of the virus. Sharing of blood or blood products of an HIV infected person will almost 100% guarantee spread of the virus. Tattooing with needles that have not been properly sterilized between use, and sharing of needles with an infected person during intravenous drug use will almost guarantee spread of the virus.
Unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex may also spread the virus. Condoms are not 100% effective and can give a false sense of security against the spread of the virus. The only type of safe sex is no sex if there is a possibility that one of the sex partners is HIV positive.
The following are some activities that you should refrain from participating in to prevent yourself from possibly becoming infected with the HIV virus: 1) do not participate in risky sex acts; 2) do not share your toothbrush with anyone; 3) do not share your razor with anyone; 4) do not give or receive tattoos; and 5) do not share needles. You need to remember that you do not know who is and who is not infected with the virus.
You cannot become infected with the virus by using the toilet, taking a shower, shaking hands, or skin to skin contact. You have to work at it to become infected.
Health Services and Dental staff follow infection control practices which will prevent the spread of the HIV virus from patient to patient. If you have concerns of this nature, you may speak with them during a sick call appointment. All syringes, needles and surgical blades are used only once, and then discarded. All dental equipment is either steam autoclaved or discarded. All surgical instruments are steam autoclaved between patient use. This is all done to protect you.
You should be aware that once you have contracted the HIV virus, there is no cure and at some point in the disease process, you will die either from the disease itself, or from complications from the disease. Life expectancy and quality of life are improving with new and updated treatment regimens.
All appropriate and necessary medical care and treatment is performed following the recommendations of the Centers For Disease Control and the institution’s Clinical Director.
HIV infected inmates are not transferred to Bureau of Prisons medical centers unless their medical condition warrants special care that cannot be delivered in this institution.
INMATES WITHOUT FUNDS
Inmates without funds will not be charged a health care service fee if you are considered indigent and unable to pay the health care service fee.
An inmate without funds (indigent inmate) is defined as an inmate who has not had a trust fund account balance of $6.00 for the past 30 days.
Wardens may impose restrictions on an inmate to prevent abuse of this provision.
Example: An inmate shows a pattern of depleting his or her commissary funds before requesting health care services.
PROCEDURES TO COLLECT INMATE COPAY FEE:
Based on the health care provider’s clinical evaluation and diagnosis of the inmate, Health Services staff will determine whether a copay fee will be charged.
A computer program to which a charged visit is entered will automatically establish a debt for any non-indigent inmate who is charged a copay fee and does not have sufficient available funds.
Incoming funds will be applied against this debt until it is