Damage Control: Limiting the cost of AIDS

Limiting the cost of AIDS

The commissioners of Alabama's Jefferson County announced last week that they would no longer use prison inmates on road gangs. Penal reform? No. In part, at least, a fear of AIDS. If a citizen caught the incurable disease from a prisoner, explained Commissioner Ray Moore, the county might be sued. Despite evidence that the AIDS virus can be transmitted only through an exchange of blood or semen, Moore claimed that "the danger was great," even though the likelihood of anyone's having intimate contact with convicts on a road crew would seem slight.

Efforts to contain the social cost of AIDS are...

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