Alliance for Inmates With AIDS

Award Recipients - 1999

Romeo Sanchez, Co-Founder & Coordinator

Romeo Sanchez is a cofounder of the Alliance for Inmates with AIDS (ALLIA), which was created to bring together AIDS service providers to improve the education, treatment and support services available to inmates, parolees and their affected communities in New York.  The goal was to develop a network of concerned service providers and ex-prisoners to exchange information, provide guidance and make linkages on issues such a as access to healthcare, delivery of medical services, legal matters, correctional policies and legislative proposals.  ALLIA initiated forums to discuss the impact of HIV on the prisoner population and assumed a role in educating the New York State Legislature.  
Official estimates set the number of prisoners living with HIV in New York State at 9,500.  Inmates have limited access to HIV-specialized care, and New York holds the dubious distinction of leading the nation is prisoner deaths due to AIDS.  ALLIA advocated for universal HIV education for inmates, information in the Spanish and English languages, increases in Spanish-speaking health care personnel, and a single standard of health care and uniformity of treatment.  ALLIA continues to host educational forums on public policy, legislative proposals, prison policies and medical services and has been successful in informing public policy as well as assisting inmates.

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