Twenty-three prisoners, including a woman, were tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Gorakhpur district jail, Uttar Pradesh.
"The inmates were found to be HIV positives during health camps conducted time to time to examine the health of prisoners. They are now undergoing treatment at the BRD Medical College (in Gorakhpur)," said jail superintendent Ram Dhani Muni.
‘Prisoners were not only tested positive for HIV during the camps, but were also found to have high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.’
The prisoners were tested over the months and now are being treated in a hospital.
The matter came to light when a blood donation camp began at the jail in October, last year on the direction of deputy inspector general (jail) Yadvendra Shukla.
However, the jail superintendent did not reveal as to how and when these prisoners contacted the deadly virus.
"In October last year, on the initiative of Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, a camp was started to conduct blood tests on prisoners to detect HIV. Of the 2,000-odd prisoners, over half have been tested," said Gorakhpur Range DIG (Jail) Yadvendra Shukla.
Most of the HIV-infected prisoners were under trial, besides those serving jail sentences, said the superintendent.
About 1400 were examined, and another 400 prisoners are yet to be tested in the camps, which are to be held later.
During the camps, dozens of prisoners were also found to be suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease and were being treated at the jail hospital.
There are chances that these HIV infected prisoners might go into depression. Hence, the jail authorities have sought the help of counselors, said the prison official.