JACKSON — Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says the Mississippi prison system will end the practice of keeping male HIV-positive inmates in segregated units. Epps said Wednesday in a statement that he intends to implement the new policy in May. He said there are currently 152 HIV-positive inmates at the state penitentiary at Parchman. The ACLU brought suit against the state in 1990 on behalf of HIV-positive prisoners housed at Parchman to force the state to provide proper medical care. In 2005, U.S. Magistrate Jerry Davis ruled Mississippi Department of Corrections had addressed problems with prisoner conditions, ending the suit. Epps said he would have ended segregation of the prisoners then, but the ACLU asked they be kept separate. “The ACLU asked us not to (move the prisoners) because they were concerned about the inmates going out into general population as it relates to their safety,” Epps said. “After they contacted me and asked me about it, I said, ‘Well, this would have been done if you hadn’t asked me not to do it.’” The ACLU said only Alabama and South Carolina currently keep HIV-positive inmates separate. “The remaining segregation policies in South Carolina and Alabama are a remnant of the early days of the HIV epidemic and continue to stigmatize prisoners and inflict them and their families with a tremendous amount of needless suffering,” Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project said in a statement.