1 per cent of Tihar Jail inmates are HIV positive

Info fetched with RTI says 97 prisoners have AIDS

One per cent of the total inmates lodged in Tihar Jail are HIV positive. During 2013, 97 inmates of the jail were found suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is about one per cent of the total population of the jail. 

Two female inmates were also found suffering from AIDS.

This was revealed in a reply to an RTI filed by this reporter.

New cases are detected among prisoners when they undergo HIV screening, the RTI reply said.

The data, however, does not specify whether the inmates were infected before they arrived at the jail or during their stay. “Data is not available in such form,” the jail authorities replied.

The number of HIV positive inmates witnessed a fluctuation in last five years. In 2009, a total of 109 inmates were found HIV positive. In 2010, 124 were found positive, 115 in 2011 and 91 in 2012.

The jail authorities do not have separate cells for the HIV positive inmates as the jail is already overcrowded. They, however, claim that the patients undergo regular health check-up and the jail authorities provide them required medicines for free.

“All HIV positive are under regular follow-up from Central Jails as well as ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) centres in outside referral hospitals. They are provided Antiretroviral Therapy and other medications as prescribed along with additional medical diet apart from normal jail diet,” the authorities replied.

The jail authorities also said they have adequate arrangements for testing of HIV and they also create awareness against the disease.

“The designated Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres counsellors render information and advice in view of prevention of the spreading of HIV cases. Regular HIV testing has been available at the Central Jails,” the jail authorities said.

The largest prison is Asia houses more than 10,500 inmates, more than its actual capacity of 6,000. The much-delayed new prison complex to decongest Tihar is still under construction at Mandoli in north-east Delhi.

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