An inmate at the Marshall County Detention Center has had repeated requests for medical attention ignored and is now without lifesaving HIV antiretroviral meds, according to a phone call interview with Imstilljosh.com.
“I have repeatedly requested medical attention and told them that I would run out of my [HIV] meds if I didn’t see a doctor,” says the individual living with HIV being held at the jail in Kentucky.
As of this article publishing, the individual in custody has been without the lifesaving medicine for more than 48 hours with no relief or help being promised or given since before Christmas in 2018.
“I also have a skin rash that I have complained about and the nurse saw it and simply gave me hydrocortisone cream.”
Nurses are not able to diagnose a medical condition or prescribe medication. It appears that this individual is not receiving fair, equitable, and humane treatment by the professionals at the Kentucky jail.
‼️Urgent help requested: Inmate at Marshall County Detention Center in Kentucky is not being given HIV meds. This is inhumane and unacceptable. I need help in contacting the people to fix this ASAP. Advocates who can we contact in Kentucky.‼️
— Josh Robbins (@imstilljosh) January 9, 2019
When I called the State of Kentucky Department of Health HIV/AIDS Division, I was informed that their “hands are tied” and it was “up to the jail” to decide to offer treatment or medical attention to the individual living with HIV. Additionally, the state said this is a known problem in the state and the legal department in the state government has been attempting to write into compliance regulations a set of rules to guide the county jails in how they administer medical attention and medication to those with chronic illnesses.
But that will continue to take some time. And time is exactly what this particular individual does not have as a luxury as the virus can quickly rebound in someone taken off antiretroviral drugs for HIV.
This story will be updated as it becomes available.
Update: The individual was medically discharged from the jail 48/hours after this article published and activists from across the country got into action! Thank you!
#Breaking: Individual living with HIV being detained at Marshall County Detention Center KY & not being given medical treatment or HIV meds will be medically discharged today from jail to seek proper medical treatment. [Your activism made this happen! Thank you all.] Y’all rock! pic.twitter.com/dmcBlrXiw9
— Josh Robbins (@imstilljosh) January 11, 2019