Most of the show's panel of guests/commentators are African-American and the show tends to lean toward stories and issues likely to be of concern or consequence to African-Americans. In this case, there's a disproportionate amount of Black people in American prisons and, I believe, there's a disproportionate amount of Black Americans, in general, who have been infected with HIV/AIDS.
In fact, as I mentioned in a previous post, Washington, DC's "secret" HIV/AIDS crisis, those who are infected with the disease, in prison, (whether through rape, consensual sex, or "sexual bartering,") are too likely to infect their wives and girlfriends, after they get out of jail.
To me, this one is a no-brainer, but some say that passing out condoms in prisons is a bad idea, for a number of reasons.
* Some believe that a given inmate won't use the condoms because that would be an acknowledgment of the fact that he's participating in homosexual activities - about which some may be in denial.
Personally, I think that, if all that **censored**
* Some say that passing out condoms is encouragement of "the behavior."
E.R. Shipp, in particular, disappointed me with this bass-ackwards line of thinking. She's a highly intelligent, Pulitzer-Prize (for commentating) winning journalist, but this is about saving lives, not about judging how a man should interact with another man.
* Some claim that the money used to distribute condoms would be better spent on testing and segregating infected members of the prison population.
I wish I could remember the name of the gentleman who offered this well-expressed, but disrespectful and potentially illegal alternative.
It's simple. People are getting infected with a life-threatening/fatal disease in high numbers. Some of this is due to choice and some of it is not.
We know doggone well that people are going to have sex. Whether we agree with their choice to do so or their methods of doing so, we ought to value their lives enough to decrease the risks, as much as we can.
If life's not a good enough reason, then how about money? Consider that it's probably going to cost a heck of a lot more to pay for the medical bills of an HIV/AIDS-positive population than to just distribute some rubbers.
The tests are a good idea, but you can't force people to take them. Civil rights aside, segregation isn't fool-proof, as people already-infected with the virus can be REinfected, with a different strain.
It saddens me when people allow religion, homophobia, or residual ignorance to trump the value and potential of human life.