LGBT People in Prison - Health Care

Health Care

According to Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, LGBT people in prisons often face barriers in seeking basic and necessary medical treatment, exacerbated by the fact that prison health care staff are often not aware of or trained on how to address those needs. For example, like Michelle Kosilek did in May 2006, two transgender prisoners filed suit in January 2008 challenging a Wisconsin law that bars inmates from receiving hormones or sex reassignment surgery notwithstanding Principle 9 of The Yogyakarta Principles. The significance of the Yogyakarta Principles is also stressed by "Handbook on prisoners with special needs" published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

However, on August 31, 2001, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal concluded that Sections 30 and 31 of the Correctional Service of Canada that has sent Synthia Kavanagh, a transsexual male-to-female who has sentenced life for murder in 1989, to the institution for males and prohibited sex reassignment surgery for her despite the trial judge's recommendation, is the discrimination on the basis of sex and disability in Canadian Human Rights Act.

Rates of HIV infection are nearly five times higher among incarcerated men in the United States than in the general population, according to a 2002 study by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and AIDS is the second most frequent cause of death in US prisons. Rape is a frequent cause of HIV transmission among prisoners, but in most US prisons, inmates are not permitted access to condoms.

Read more about this topic:  LGBT People In Prison

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