South Carolina to stop separating HIV inmates

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South Carolina's prisons are ending a policy of segregating HIV-positive inmates.

Corrections Department director Bill Byars told The Associated Press on Wednesday his department is making the change as part of an overhaul of the agency's health services. No date for stopping the segregation is set.

South Carolina has been one of two states that still separated HIV-positive inmates. Several inmates backed by the American Civil Liberties Union sued Alabama, where a judge last year struck down the policy on the basis it violates federal disabilities law.

The ACLU criticized both states, saying in a report that officials should give prisoners condoms and syringes to slow the spread of AIDS but should house all inmates together. Byars says South Carolina currently has 366 HIV-positive inmates in two Columbia institutions.