Saturday 11 July, 2020

70 HIV positive inmates get free care at correctional facility

70 HIV-positive inmates from nine correctional facilities have received free treatment once per month at one of the nation’s largest correction facilities which house 400 inmates.

Between April and November 2019, they’ve benefited from the package of medical care, nursing and psychosocial services that ensured they received the care and support they needed to improve and maintain their health. The program also provides sexual and reproductive health education and counselling to ensure continuity of care after release back into the community.

This was made possible through a joint initiative with the Ministry of Health, Medical Research Forum (MRF) and Prisons Commissioner with funding from the US President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The outreach programme was established to eliminate the cost and potential public safety risk of transporting prisoners to an external medical facility for treatment.

Also during this period, the MRF reported a total of nine inmates who were newly diagnosed and were initiated on treatment within one week. Meanwhile, 90% of inmates receiving treatment over a six-month period showed suppressed levels of the virus in their bloodstream – ultimately reducing their risk of passing the virus to others.

Continued US funding and support will expand the MRF’s efforts to promote the overall health and well-being of men in the prison system.

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