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Condoms for Convicts

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One major oversight in the article on the perils of receiving adequate HIV care at Cook County Jail [October 6] is the availability of condoms. Justin Hayford and photographer Lloyd DeGrane adequately capture the dinginess of prison, but if experts claim that up to 600 a day are infected [There are 600 infected inmates in the jail on any given day--ed.], then there certainly needs to be some mention of safer sex and whether or not this is possible in jail. For someone freshly incarcerated, latex might not be his first priority, what with legality and other safety issues. But instead of leaving it to the reader to figure out that if there is a 24-hour pharmacy then condoms are easy to come by, or to rationalize that this convict has to deal with drug dependency first and foremost, then the issue of HIV among inmates will become too overblown to deal with. I don't care if it's a sensitive issue. The bottom line is how does one get strong condoms (and lubrication) in prison and whether or not these items are considered contraband.

Anonymous

Chicago

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