34 inmates test positive for HIV in Varanasi district, central jails
The revelation comes days after 23 inmates were found to have tested positive for HIV in the Gorakhpur district jail.lucknow Updated: Mar 09, 2018 18:57 IST
As many as 34 inmates lodged at Varanasi’s district and central jails have tested positive for HIV over the last few months, prison officials said.
The revelation comes days after 23 inmates tested positive for HIV in the Gorakhpur district jail. Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports on the spread of AIDS in jails across Uttar Pradesh, the National Human Rights Commission on March 7 issued a notice seeking a detailed report from the chief secretary and inspector general (prisons) within six weeks.
As many as 23 and 11 inmates tested positive for HIV at the Varanasi district and central jails respectively, prison officials said. While 1,836 inmates are lodged in the district jail, the central prison houses 1,650.
Varanasi central jail senior superintendent Ambarish Gaud said 11 inmates were found to have contracted HIV, and are currently undergoing treatment under the supervision of officials from the anti-retroviral therapy centre.
“We have a centre for HIV testing on the premises,” he said. “Every inmate has to undergo an HIV test before he/she is allowed into the jail. If any inmate is found positive, they are accorded medical guidance and a special diet.”
District jail superintendent PK Trivedi said the treatment of 22 inmates who tested positive for HIV has already begun. “We ensure that HIV-infected inmates observe their diet and drug regimens in accordance with the doctors’ advice. They also undergo counselling,” he added.
Trivedi said blood samples of inmates were collected twice a week for testing. “Most HIV-positive inmates said they contracted the virus through contaminated needles while abusing drugs.”
Both Gaud and Trivedi have sent their reports to the prison headquarters in Lucknow.