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Governing Bodies and Spaces: A Critical Analysis of Mandatory Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing in Correctional Facilities

Gagnon, Marilou PhD, ACRN, RN; Cormier, Luc BscN

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e31824fe6f9
Health & Human Rights

As it currently stands, mandatory human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing of prisoners is performed by nurses in more than 24 states and throughout the federal correctional system. The aim of this article was to bring to the attention of the nursing community the inner workings of mandatory HIV testing and its implications for HIV-positive prisoners. Building on a recent report published by Human Rights Watch, we critically examine the deployment of mandatory HIV testing in state correctional facilities located in Alabama and South Carolina. We, therefore, intend to situate this practice within a bio-political logic and explore its human rights consequence.

School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Correspondence: Marilou Gagnon, PhD, ACRN, RN, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.