Guyana Project Is Aimed At Reducing Spread Of HIV
Guyana's Ministry of Home Affairs recently launched a new project aimedat decreasing the spread of HIV among prison inmates and reintegratingHIV-positive inmates into society at the end of their sentences, the Stabroek News reports.The project also has allowed the purchase of equipment to establishvoluntary HIV counseling and testing in prisons, as well as programsaimed at training prison officers to provide HIV care and counseling.
Accordingto Lorna Harry, coordinator of the HIV/AIDS program, the ministry isconcerned about the increasing number of inmates entering the prisonwith HIV or other diseases and is working to integrate and promotesafer behaviors among inmates. Three inmates have been trained toprovide support to medical staff providing care to HIV-positiveinmates. A prison officer also was trained in HIV/AIDS Life CycleManagement, which will allow him to facilitate discussions on issuesinvolving the disease. In addition, about 122 people and 131 prisonofficers were recruited to participate in training on HIV/AIDSprevention.
The ministry with funding from the World Bankrecently opened a high-dependency care unit at Lusignan Prison tofacilitate care and management of inmates living with HIV/AIDS andother infectious diseases. According to Harry, the ministry has spentabout 1.3 million Guyanese dollars -- or about $6,600 -- on equipmentto aid in HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in prisons. An additional 535,000Guyanese dollars -- or about $2,700 -- will establish a voluntarycounseling and testing site at Georgetown Prison, which will be staffedby prison officers who have been trained by the National AIDS ProgrammeSecretariat. Harry added that about 4.4 million Guyanese dollars -- orabout $22,400 -- in total from the Ministry of Health and the home affairs ministry has been allocated to enhance health care in Guyana's prisons, Stabroek News reports (Stabroek News, 10/29).
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