HIV in Indian Prisons: Risk Behaviour, Prevalence, Prevention & Treatment (Report)
In 2008, around 5 million people in Asia were living with HIV. India accounts for about half of these infections (1). Sentinel surveillance conducted by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) shows that in the general population HIV prevalence is low (0.25-0.43%), but among high-risk groups, HIV prevalence is much more. In at least five States, HIV prevalence among injecting drug users (IDU) is greater than 10 per cent, with a high of 24 per cent of IDUs are HIV positive in Maharashtra. Prevalence is also elevated among female sex workers and men who have sex with men (2). Globally, progress has been made in implementing HIV programmes in the community (2); however, HIV prevention, care and treatment have largely been neglected in prisons (3). HIV is a major health challenge for prison authorities (4,5) because substance use disorders6 and injecting drug use (7) are common among incarcerated populations. Subsequently, HIV, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis are more prevalent in prison populations than in the general population (8).