ALABAMA VOICES: Unfounded fears

Read the full article here.

Montgomery Advertiser

Olivia Turner, Executive Director, ACLU Alabama

April 14, 2010

Melissa’s children — and indeed many of her neighbors and friends — found out that she is living with HIV when she went to the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka.

Under the Alabama Department of Corrections’ mandatory policy of segregating prisoners with HIV, Melissa was sent to live in Tutwiler’s Dorm E, the “HIV/AIDS Unit” at the prison — a housing assignment that effectively broadcast her HIV status. As Melissa put it, “Once you’re in Dorm E, everybody knows you’ve got the virus.” She was devastated. Her children were devastated. Melissa’s son asked her if she were going to die.


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