How to Quit Smoking and How to Not Start Again

By Arielle Horowitz

From PHN Issue 38, Fall 2018

Most smokers know that smoking is bad for their health, but they also know that quitting smoking is not easy. According to the American Lung Association, quitting smoking can be easier if you know your reasons for quitting, talk to a doctor, understand what to expect, and get help. Federal prisons and almost half of state prison systems prohibit smoking cigarettes indoors and outdoors, but more than half of states still allow smoking in prison yards. For those who quit smoking while in prison and are soon to be released, it is important to think about how to not start smoking again outside prison. Continue reading “How to Quit Smoking and How to Not Start Again”

The Hep C Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, with the assistance of the Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh, PA

From PHN Issue 37, Summer 2018

This manual is designed to walk any person infected with hepatitis C through the obstacle courses erected by medical staff and prison officials who seek to deny or delay hepatitis C treatment which leads to a cure from the infection. Continue reading “The Hep C Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual”

Hepatitis A and B

By Arielle Horowitz

From PHN Issue 37, Summer 2018

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a virus that can make it harder for your liver to work. You can get hepatitis A from food or water contaminated with fecal matter (poop), being near someone who has hepatitis A, or having sex with someone who has hepatitis A. It is not spread by sneezing or coughing. Washing your hands often, especially after using the toilet, may help you avoid getting hepatitis A. You can also prevent it by getting a hepatitis A vaccination. It is important to speak to your doctor to be sure that you are properly vaccinated, as everyone’s vaccination needs and effectiveness can be different. Continue reading “Hepatitis A and B”

Words to Live By

Advice from a formerly incarcerated person living with HIV

From PHN Issue 37, Summer 2018

1. Take care of yourself. Make your health your top priority. Ask for what you think you need. Don’t wait for someone to take care of you. Advocating for your health is a constant job, especially in prison or jail. Continue reading “Words to Live By”

Getting and Keeping the Right Drugs You Need

By Ronald Leutwyler

From PHN Issue 36, Spring 2018

As a rule, prisons try to give you the cheapest medications they can. And if they do give you medications, you have a constant battle to keep them. Rather than cut some time off of your sentence, they cut your medications and healthcare, food menu, yard time, etc. As an indigent inmate for 17 years, constantly in debt and with no one in free society to help, I know exactly how exhausting it can be to battle for the right medications. One of the two things the state (any state) is afraid of is the existence of a paper trail that you can build and use against them in a court of law. Continue reading “Getting and Keeping the Right Drugs You Need”

There’s a Way to Eliminate Hepatitis C, but Is There a Will?

By Suzy Subways

From PHN Issue 35, Winter 2018

As many as four out of every ten people incarcerated in state prisons are living with hepatitis C, the US Department of Health and Human Services reports. But fewer than one out of every hundred people in prison living with chronic hepatitis C are getting treatment, according to Mandy Altman of the Hepatitis Education Project. Prisons are refusing to provide treatment even though there is now a cure. Drug companies have been allowed to set extremely high prices, because we live under a free-market economic system, and states lack the money to pay. Continue reading “There’s a Way to Eliminate Hepatitis C, but Is There a Will?”

HIV and Hepatitis C Co-Infection

By Lucy Gleysteen

From PHN Issue 35, Winter 2018

Finding out that you have both HIV and hepatitis C can be difficult. Some people can be living with HIV and/or hepatitis C and not know their status because it sometimes takes a long time for symptoms to appear. If you think you might have contracted HIV or hepatitis C, you can ask your doctor to provide testing. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, prisons should provide testing. Continue reading “HIV and Hepatitis C Co-Infection”

Colorectal Cancer Occurring Earlier

by Darrell L. Taylor

From PHN Issue 34, Fall 2017

In the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), inmates are not screened for colorectal cancer until the age of 50, regardless of what ethnic group one may belong to. It has been established that people of African origin are at higher risk than other ethnic groups and therefore should be screened at an earlier age, especially if there is a family history. Finding and removing polyps on the inner wall of the colon or rectum can prevent colorectal cancer. Continue reading “Colorectal Cancer Occurring Earlier”

Breast Health and Screening Mammograms

by Erin Tully and PHN staff

From PHN Issue 34, Fall 2017

            Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. While breast cancer is most likely to affect cisgender women, it affects people of all genders. (Cisgender means people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.) Mammograms are recommended for people over the age of 40 who have breasts. Continue reading “Breast Health and Screening Mammograms”

When Someone on the Outside Has Your Back

by Theresa Shoatz and Suzy Subways

From PHN Issue 33, Summer 2017

Sometimes it’s hard to get medical care when you need it behind the walls. For readers who have family, friends or a partner on the outside to help, here are some suggestions for them to try. You may want to clip this article and send it to them. Continue reading “When Someone on the Outside Has Your Back”