Surviving Hepatitis C in AZ Jails, State Prisons, and Federal Detention Centers.

Surviving Hepatitis C in AZ Jails, State Prisons, and Federal Detention Centers.
The "Hard Time" blogspot is a volunteer-run site for the political organization of people with Hepatitis C behind and beyond prison walls, their loved ones, and whomever cares to join us. We are neither legal nor medical professionals. Some of us may organize for support, but this site is primarily dedicated to education and activism; we are fighting for prevention, detection, treatment, and a cure for Hepatitis C, particularly down in the trenches where most people are dying - in prison or on the street... Join us.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Director Ryan: Writing to Goliath.

The following is an excerpt from an email I sent to Director Charles Ryan at the Arizona Department of Corrections this weekend. I offered to meet him in his office to discuss a few things, so don't expect me to post a written response from him - they aren't often forthcoming, as emails have their way of making it to court. 

My side was a long letter, though - this part of which was a complaint about the phone call I witnessed Friday between Julie and Ryan's people. I still can't figure out how to get the video of that call posted and distributed, but will leave those links here once I do. That recording is as real as it gets, and everyone who's advocated on Davon's behalf needs to see it. Keep acting up out there.

"...By the way, your doctor was really cruel and condescending to Julie Acklin and owes her an apology - at the minimum - as far as I'm concerned. If you all taped that conversation from your end, you'd better play it back. I hope you weren't there condoning his behavior. I also hope you know more about Hep C in prisons than he does - and more about your high profile prisoners, too. He didn't even know if the patient he swore was in no mortal danger had been tested yet for HIV - yet he seemed to think that Davon hadn't asked for an HIV test, either (which was by way of justifying why he wouldn 't have had an HIV test. He knows that kid wouldn't have known to ask before all this.).

That's inexcusable. Furthermore, it's a standard Hep C practice guideline, even in prison, for the physician to automatically test for other forms of hepatitis and HIV whenever a lab comes back HCV+. He should have had some certainty that Davon had been tested if he knew his patient was so healthy that he wouldn't even evaluate him further at this time.

He's full of it. This guy is either strategically trying stall and ridicule Julie, or he really hasn't been keeping up with his profession, so you might want to check him out again. Even I know more about current treatment recommendations than he does. And medical ethics, apparently.

My report of how that conversation went will be in my blogs, whether or not we plan to meet this week - there's no damage control to be done to head off that one. It exemplifies the stone wall your administrators maintain when you're really into denying a problem that everyone else out here can already see - like security in the private prisons...we've been screaming about a lot of this stuff for awhile. Funny how it's ending up an election issue. It still looks a lot like you're waiting Marcia out - as if you're hoping we collapse from the heat or fatigue and shut up already. I guess your doctors are pretty much the same...

...Regarding Davon - whether it takes five months or 15 years to kill that kid, I'll figure out how to prove that he could have become virus-free and avoided such a fate if he'd been treated according to current community standards now, before his liver functioning deteriorates any further. You could be responsible for helping spread Hep C through the community, with the shoddy care he's received.

The one good thing the doctor had to say today is that it may still be early enough in the progression of the disease that there's still hope if he gets prompt treatment - even though he refused to admit that's what he was really saying. That part - the hope - I celebrated tonight. But it is good news that Davon isn't in imminent danger of dying only if that is true, and your physician didn't exhibit a lot of knowledge about either Davon or Hep C..."

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