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Coping with HIV/AIDS in Canadian Men's penitentiaries - Research Paper Example

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Coping with HIV/AIDS in Canadian Men's penitentiaries

Some factors that contribute to the high transmission of HIV include overcrowding, a culture of violence, lack of information regarding HIV and inadequate health facilities (Satpathy, p.223). According to the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (2008), some measures of preventing transmission have been employed in Canada, namely voluntary counseling and testing, needle exchange programs, Methadone Malignance treatment and bleach and condom distribution. Nevertheless, the Canadian authority is not handling the HIV and Aids epidemic in prisons properly compared to other developed countries.
Ainslie et al (1992) attribute the dire situation in Canadian prison systems to government’s inaction and notes that the situation can be improved through a comprehensive AIDS/Aids policy, which includes education and prevention programs, and support and medical services. However, Hankins (2006) notes that there is lack of political will to deal with HIV/Aids problem in Canadian correctional institutions. While the citizens’ attitudes regarding investing public resources to dealing with the problems is unclear.
Thesis statement: There are a high number of the prisoners infected with HIV/ Aids in Canadian prisons. Moreover, prisons have been identified as high risk environment, since transmission is increasing among incarcerated persons. In most Canadian male penitentiaries, basic HIV prevention and managing measures are limited or absent. However, the government and other not-for–profit institutions are aligning new policies and strategies of handling the problem.
HIV/AIDS situation in Canadian Men’s penitentiaries The HIV and Aids epidemic is providing a new and difficult challenge to many governments and prison administrators in the world. Studies have revealed that the prevalence of reported HIV cases is between two and eight percent of prisoners in Canada are living with HIV, which is at least 10 times higher than the prevalence of the virus in the general population (CSC, 2008). Additionally, there is an increase in number of new infection cases among incarcerated persons in correctional facilities. This situation is a major concern for the government and HIV/AIDS advocacy groups in Canada. However, ‘the Canada’s policy and legal response to HIV/Aids has generally been slow, cautious, and rational hence lacks HIV/Aids-specific legislation’ (Frankowski, p.63). The graph below demonstrates the number of reported cases of HIV infections among prisoners in provisional and federal corrections between 1989 and 2001. Source: Correctional Service of Canada. (2008). Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control in Canadian Federal Penitentiaries 2000-01. http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pblct/infectiousdiseases/6-eng.shtml. According to Jurgens (2008), the high prevalence rates of HIV cases in prisons is mainly due to high-risk behaviors engaged by inmates before incarceration. Transmission of HIV and Aids in prison is mainly through sharing of drug injections, sexual activities, tattooing and violence. Despite drugs being illegal substances, incarcerated persons always access drugs while in prisons. Besides, most prisoners ...Show more
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Summary

The prison environment has been identified as a high-risk environment for transmissions of the HIV/AIDS disease; yet, adequate measures of tackling the problem have not been effected in Canadian prison systems. Indeed, the prevalence rate of HIV in penitentiaries is ten times more than in the general population. …
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