LUCKNOW: Already suffering with catastrophic encephalitis for ages, now the presence of Human Immunodeficiency virus has added to the agony of residents of Gorakhpur in eastern UP. At a recent regular health check-up camp, 23 inmates of Gorakhpur district jail were found to be HIV positive. Of 23 infected prisoners in different age groups, 22 males and one female prisoner have tested positive for the deadly virus.
“Health camps to examine prisoners are organized from time to time. At the last few checkup camps, 23 inmates, including a female, have been found HIV positive,” claimed Dr Ramdhani Muni, senior jail superintendent of Gorakhpur jail. He added that all the infected prisoners were given counseling and that their treatment had already begun at ART center in BRD medical college. “They get medicines and all medical help from the center,” said the officer.
However, the sources of virus remained an issue of speculation as the jail authorities could not give any clue leaving it to the medical agencies to make an assessment. “It is very difficult for us to know the sources of virus. We can only tell that they have tested positive for HIV during the checkup,” said the jail superintendent.
Giving details of the periodic health camps, jail authorities claimed that in all 1400 inmates were checked up and 23 of them showed strains of HIV in their blood. Over 400 prisoners have yet to undergo the medical examination at the camps to be held later inside the jail.
In fact, Gorakhpur jail houses over 1,800 inmates including convicts and undertrials. However, the administration suspected that the virus didn't spread inside the jail and the undertrials might have brought it with them.