Advocates at Conference Call for More Attention to HIV/AIDS Among Prison Inmates Worldwide
This issue of HIV among prison inmates worldwide does not garner enough attention, even though sex among inmates, use of dirty instruments for tattooing and use of injection drugs make prisons "incubators" for HIV/AIDS, Zambian researcher Alick Nyirenda said Tuesday at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Agence France-Presse reports. In countries where sex between men is illegal, the situation is exacerbated by the challenges of reporting and discussing safer sex practices for men who have sex with men, Nyirenda added. In addition, inmates often spread the virus when they leave prison, Morag McDonald, editor of the journal International Prisoner Health, said. Annie De Groot, editor of Brown University's Infectious Diseases in Corrections Report, said prisoners are hardly ever taken into account in discussions about HIV/AIDS and called for a change in attitudes related to the subject. Rick Ones, who directs the Irish Penal Reform Trust, said that prison inmates have the right to access HIV prevention services and that countries are obliged to protect the health of inmates. A study presented at the conference finds seven prisons in Ukraine have an HIV prevalence ranging from 16% to 91.5%. There are 50 programs in eight countries that provide needles at no cost to prison inmates, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 8/15).
Kaisernetwork.org is serving as the official webcaster of the conference. View the guide to coverage and all webcasts, interviews and a daily video round up of conference highlights at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/aids2006.