HIV prevention programme launched in Punjab prisons

Chandigarh:An HIV prevention, treatment and care programme for Punjab prisoners was launched here today.

Speaking at the function, Additional Secretary N S Kang said that the treatment and care for those living with HIV/AIDS inside prisons should be equivalent to the treatment and care available for the general population, an official release said.

He said National Prison HIV Strategy is being implemented in a phased manner in the country.

Earlier in the phase-1, ‘HIV interventions in prison settings’ project was launched in February this year in 8 north-eastern states and is now being launched for Punjab and Chandigarh prisons.

He said the key aspect of the programme is to ensure post release referrals and linkages for various HIV prevention and treatment services.

He said nearly 21-lakh people in the country are HIV-positive, of which about 7-lakh people are not even aware of their status.

The programme has been launched by NACO for the 8 Central jails of state. However, she underlined the need to extend the programme to all other jails of the state.