Issues on prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan prisons to be discussed within the framework of an EU project
ASTANA – A round table on ‘Prevention of HIV/AIDS in prison system in Kazakhstan’ with the support of the European Union will be held on 6 December 2011 in the conference hall of the Jumbaktas hotel. During the conference, specific issues on prevention of HIV/AIDS in Kazakhstan’s prisons will be discussed, with particular focus on women drug-injecting users, numbers of whom are on the rise.
The high risk of HIV transmission and other diseases amongst prisoners requires effective state policy on this issue. However, the lack of a harm-reduction programme in prisons exacerbates the spread of HIV transmission among prisoners.
According to Saule Mektepbayeva, Regional Director of Penal Reform International in Central Asia, ‘Civil and prison healthcare are interrelated. Unsolved problems in one area have an influence on another. For example, in 2010 4,208 patients were released from prison: 1,268 people of them suffered from drug addiction and about a thousand people were HIV-infected patients. In this regard, special attention should be given to reducing the risk of HIV transmission among prisoners.’
Issues of women’s health in prison will be discussed during the round table; there are currently 3,000 women in prison, while 2,368 are mothers. In the Karagandy region 248 women are registered for drug addiction and 100 have HIV / AIDS.
Representatives including state officials, NGOs, academics from Kazakhstan and overseas, and international organisations will participate in the round table.
The round table has been organised by Penal Reform International in Central Asia, the United Nations office on drugs and crime (UNODC) and the Penal Committee of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the framework of the ‘Model programme on HIV/AIDS and TB prevention in women prisons in Kazakhstan’ project.
The European Union has allocated 228 052 euro for financing this two-year project.
MEDIA ARE INVITED to participate in the round table that will be held on 6 December, in the conference hall of the Jumbaktas hotel, at: Astana, Marsovaya str. 65, at 10.00 am. Registration starts at 9.00 am.
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