The AIDS Advisory Committee wants the Utah Department of Health to encourage voluntary AIDS virus testing for prisoners housed in county jails.
The committee, meeting Wednesday night, approved a subcommittee report on jail prisoners and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The report also reaffirmed the committee's opposition to mandatory testing of prisoners.Michael E. Sanders, subcommittee chairman and representative of the Department of Corrections, also said the report asks the health department to keep AIDS virus testing results confidential and educate jailers about AIDS.
The committee also approved a report from the subcommittee studying AIDS and intravenous drug users. Recommendations include provision for a quarterly bulletin to health and mental health care providers. The committee also recommended that staff members be trained to counsel drug users on how to reduce AIDS risk.
The intravenous drug users should be given more opportunities to enter treatment and information concerning this should be distributed to jails, emergency rooms, employment services and pharmacies, the report said.
The committee also accepted, but did not approve, specific recommendations from the report prepared by the Subcommittee on Gay and Lesbian Concerns and AIDS. Committee representatives and health department staff members will meet and extract specific recommendations from the report, which committee members said include questionable "editorial comments."
The report calls for providing AIDS information in bars, encouraging anonymous testing, using the term "gay" instead of "homosexual" in health department communications and educating about AIDS through homosexual-friendly organizations, said Richard Starley of AIDS Project Utah said.
Homosexuals also want the health department to urge insurance companies to extend coverage to include AIDS drugs and treatments.