Jamaica Will Not Distribute Condoms to Prison Inmates to Combat Spread of HIV, Medical Officer Says
Jamaica's Health Ministry announced Thursday that it had "no immediate plan" to issue condoms to prison inmates to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. In response to an increase in HIV/AIDS cases in the nation's prison system, Acting Chief Medical Officer Deanna Ashley said that the health and prison ministries were developing an education and training program for inmates and guards. Ashley said, "At this time there is no policy with regards to issuing condoms." In 1997, prisons chief Lt. Col. John Prescod proposed a plan to issue condoms to prisoners to stop the spread of HIV, which "triggered" prison riots that left 17 inmates dead. Saying that the transmission rate of HIV and other STDs in prisons is "alarming," Prescod on Thursday repeated his call to pass out condoms (Reuters, 5/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.