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Lawsuit: Jail Inmate Denied HIV Meds

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Cook County Jail

The Cook County Jail (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A former inmate is suing the Cook County Jail, claiming he didn’t receive the medication he needed while behind bars.

Darryl Brown claims the failure by the jail to give him his medication escalated his HIV count and posed a direct threat to his health.

Brown claims that on July 3 he was arrested and informed jail personnel that he was HIV positive and takes the drug Atripla to treat his condition, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. He also informed them that he takes four other drugs and an inhaler for shortness of breath.

The suit claims that Brown was incarcerated until Aug. 4 and received only seven pills of his high blood pressure medication that was to be taken daily. He also did not receive his inhaler until he was in jail for more than three weeks despite complaining of being short of breath.

Brown claims he never received his HIV medication while in jail.

Jail personnel told Brown to “not get locked up in jail” if he wanted to take his HIV medication and that they did not have a prescription for the medication, according to the suit.

The suit claims his HIV count, which was previously well managed by medication, has escalated, posing a direct threat to Brown’s health and life.

The two-count suit claims that jail personnel exhibited a deliberate indifference to Brown’s serious medical needs.

The suit names employees of the Cook County Sheriff’s office and Cermak Hospital. The suit also seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

Steve Patterson, spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff’s office, said he had not seen the lawsuit and was unable to comment.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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