27 Prisoners of AP's Rajajmundry Prison Tested HIV+, HC Seeks Report from Authorities

After 27 inmates in Rajajmundry Central Prison of Andhra Pradesh were tested HIV positive, the High Court of the state has demanded a report from the prison authorities on the outbreak.

The incident came to light following a prisoner’s petition in HC seeking interim bail so that he could avail treatment and spend time with his family. The prisoner was convicted for a murder and has been serving a life term since last year.

However, the prison authorities claim that about 19 per cent of the positive tested inmates have carried the HIV virus from before they were lodged into the jail.

“We will present a report to the Court on Friday regarding how many of them have been infected and what could be the possible reason behind this. In recent times, we’ve conducted tests on all 400 inmates,” Deputy Superintendent of Rajahmundry Central Prison, S Raja Rao told News18.

He dismissed the possibility of the virus getting transmitted from one prisoner to another, saying that they are under constant surveillance.

According to Rao, about 3 lakh rupees per month are spent on the medical expenditure of the prisoners and there is no financial crunch. At the same time, the police official maintained that if the need arises, the health expenditure budget will be increased.

Reacting sharply to the matter, AP High Court Acting Chief Justice C Praveen Kumar and Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy asked the government to look into the issue seriously and take necessary action.

The bench also said that stringent action will be taken against the jail authorities if any lapse is found on their side.

The current strength of the Prison is about 1400. So far this year, about 7 inmates lost their lives, out of which one died of AIDS.

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