If anyone has been following HIV-related news over the past year or so, you'd know that HIV is growing rapidly in America among certain groups of people, especially African American women. There are a number of theories why, but today's Washington Post explored a promising theory: rising rates of African Americans in prison. Read the article in full, it's short and to the point - and very relevant to any state in this country.
I think the clear and quick answer to this rising epidemic is to try giving out free condoms to prisoners. I posted in detail on this subject over at Progress Now and I hope people will read my link to it. Free condoms could work, it could save this country millions and millions of dollars from preventing thousands of new HIV cases and, most importantly, it could save a lot of lives.
A lot of people will be against this policy because they view it as advocating gay sex (anything to stop The Gays!), but as the WashPo article pointed out - over half the prison population is doing it already. Bottom line: this isn't just about prisoners, this is about those they'll infect when they get out of prison. To save innocent lives, we need to stop HIV at the source. If progressives can properly advocate that position, we'll win over our conservative critics.