ArticlesVolume 1, Number 1 (1991)

A Community of Women Organize Themselves to Cope with the AIDS Crisis: A Case Study from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility


In Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women (“Bedford Hills” or “Bedford”), New York State’s maximum security prison for women, AIDS has created a crisis. A 1988 study done by the New York State Department of Health showed that almost twenty percent of the incoming women to Bedford were HIV-infected. This statistic does not include all the other women affected by AIDS: those with friends and family members who are sick; those women wrestling with whether to take the HIV antibody test; those who are concerned about how to have safe sexual relationships; the┬ámany more who are not yet educated or concerned about this; and those with fears and questions about casual contact in an environment which necessitates sharing and close living arrangements.