The U.S Justice Department says Nevada's prisons are discriminating against inmates with HIV under illegal segregation policies that deny them access to work programs that reduce sentences for other prisoners.
Justice Department lawyers say they may sue the state under the Americans with Disabilities Act if it doesn't change the policies based on unfounded fears about the transmission of HIV.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS but cannot be transmitted through ordinary activities such as touching, sneezing or sharing dishes.
Justice's chief of disability rights notified the state in a letter Monday that an ADA compliance review found HIV-infected inmates are ineligible for assignment to low-custody facilities, including conservation camps and transitional housing.
Nevada Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast says the department is reviewing the recommendations.