From 1924 to 1962, Brazil used compulsory internment of Hansen's disease patients as one of the ways of controlling the disease in the community. After this policy ended, many patients continued to live in these units. The former Asilo Pirapitingui, now the Hospital Dr. Francisco Ribeiro Arantes, is the only old-style asylum for the socially determined internment of those suffering from Hansen's disease. Through recorded and transcribed interviews of eight of those remaining, we sought to learn their history and the meaning of this isolation in their lives. The thematic analysis of the discourse enabled identification of the following analysis categories: Hansen's disease; internment day-to-day life; the institution; current health conditions; and staying in the institution after the end of compulsory internment.