The lawsuit alleges that prison officials at the 2,600-inmate Mansfield Correctional Institution left a record of inmates being treated for the human immunodeficiency virus in a location where it could be released to other prisoners, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Thursday.
The invasion of privacy has had a "disastrous" effect on the inmates, exposing them to ridicule, harassment and threats, Richard Swope, the attorney representing the inmates, said.
"They're isolated. The prison population doesn't want a darn thing to do with them," he told the newspaper.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is aware of the lawsuits and is working with the state attorney general's office to investigate, spokesman Carlo LoParo said.