The issue of HIV in prisons seems to be vexing the minds of medical authorities. According to the latest issue of Legal Forum, since there has been no research on how many prisoners are affected, it should be assumed that the rate should be at least 25 percent since prisoners come from a society where the infection rate is 25 percent.
But the question is: What proportion of prisoners contract HIV/AIDS inside prison and what proportion comes to prison already infected?
“To relieve sexual frustration and to reduce the risk of resorting to sodomy which is high risk for HIV infection and is illegal, it has been suggested that the prisons should introduce a system of conjugal visits,” a report in the magazine says.
But it quickly adds: “There are various difficulties with this suggestion. Is the proposed scheme to be restricted to visits by spouses in which case single men inmates will not be affected? How will the scheme operate if the man has more than one spouse? Will the prisons supply condoms for use in respect of these visits?”
With the prisons reported to be overcrowded, one might as well ask, is there any room? And what about female prisoners, who are said to be on the increase?