Friday, October 4, 2013

12 Madurai prisoners test HIV positive

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PVCHR Communication <>
Date: Sat, Oct 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Subject: 12 Madurai prisoners test HIV positive
To: covdnhrc <>, jrlawnhrc <>
Cc: "Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi" <>

The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi
Dear Sir,
I want to bring in your kind attention towards the news published in Times of India on 5th October, 2013 regarding 12 Madurai prisoners test HIV positive

12 Madurai prisoners test HIV positive

V Devanathan, TNN | Oct 5, 2013, 04.51 AM IST
MADURAI: In a shocking revelation, 12 inmates of the Madurai Central prison are found to have tested positive for HIV in the past few months. But, these inmates are left in the lurch due to lack of treatment.

There are about 1,700 inmates in the central prison. In the last six months alone, 12 new HIV positive inmates have been identified. Sources from the Tamil Nadu State Aids Control Society(TANSACS) allege that lack of cooperation and interest among the higher officials of the society and central prison has been hindering treatment for the inmates. Treatment for the newly-detected cases in the last six months could not be started due to this.

"As many as six inmates were found with HIV infection in April this year alone after undergoing the mandatory tests for new inmates of the prison. In May, no case was detected. However, six cases were detected between June and September. Since homosexual activity is rampant in the prison the inmates have high risk of getting infection. Detecting the HIV patients and providing required treatment for them is indispensable," said sources from the TANSACS.

Doctors say that testing the HIV patients at regular intervals is absolutely necessary. They should be brought to the anti-retroviral treatment (ART) on the premises of the Government Rajaji Hospitalfor treatment. They would be provided with medicines and kept in observation to analyse the patients' reaction to the medicine.

Sources from TANSACS said that they could not provide treatment for the HIV inmates since they are not brought to ART centres by the prison authorities. Citing inadequate police strength to escort the inmates to the centre, the officers refuse to send them for treatment. As a consequence, the inmates are deprived of proper treatment ending up in getting only regular tablets, they said. Moreover, TANSACS officials could not follow the HIV positive inmates when they are released on bail since majority of the prisoners' address available with the prison are found to be fake, the sources added.

When contacted, M Kalirajan, district programme manager for prevention and control of HIV-AIDS, Madurai said, "We are aware of the situation. We have taken up the issue to the notice of our project director a month ago. Action is yet to be taken. We have also suggested an alternative idea of sending ART specialists inside the prison to treat the patients."

K Anandan, superintendent of police, Madurai Central Prison when contacted said that they rely only on the city police to escort the HIV positive inmates to GRH. At times when the city police's strength is fully utilised for heavy security the inmates cannot be taken to the hospital. In such cases they would send paramedical staff to collect tables from the hospital, he said.

Therefore it is a kind request please take appropriate action at earliest.
Sincerely yours

Lenin Raghuvanshi
Secretary General 
Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)
Sa 4/2 A Daulatpur, Varanasi
Mobile no. 09935599333