Thu | Aug 17, 2017

UPDATED: 'HIV and incarcerated is like living in a prison within a prison'

Published:Monday | June 12, 2017 | 6:41 AM

A new report on HIV/AIDS in Jamaican prisons has recommended that prison authorities move as a matter of priority to attend to inmates who are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

The report, entitled 'Barriers Behind Bars' is to be released tomorrow.

The advocacy group Stand Up for Jamaica, which prepared the report, says it is critical that the stigma be removed from people with AIDS.

"Living with HIV as an inmate is like living in a prison within a prison," said Carla Gullotta, President of Stand Up For Jamaica. 

"They need quality HIV health care, and we have to focus on protecting their human rights and providing rehabilitation." 

Barriers Behind Bars explores how practices which have successfully controlled HIV infection and transmission in prison populations around the world can be adapted to address local reality.

*NOTE: An earlier version of this story had said the 'Barriers Behind Bars' report found that Jamaican inmates labelled as lesbians or gays are at risk of severe human rights violations including prison rape and denial of rehabilitation services. Stand Up Jamaica has since withdrawn the release, saying the claim was erroneous and relates only to research from the United States and the use of the Prison Rape Elimination Act in that jurisdiction.