High Court seeks report on AIDS 'outbreak' in Rajahmundry jail

A prisoner’s petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court (HC) seeking bail for AIDS treatment has led to a shocking revelation that 27 inmates of the Rajamahendravaram Central Prison are afflicted by AIDS.

The HC heard the case on Wednesday and reacted sharply demanding the jail authorities furnish a detailed report on the total number of AIDS patients in the jail and the medical treatment being given to them.

The prisoner, Challa Yedukondalu, a native of Guntur district, was convicted in a murder case and is serving a life term from February 2 last year.

Pre-existing condition

Speaking to The Hindu, the Jail Superintendent S. Rajarao said 19 of the 27 prisoners identified as AIDS patients, were afflicted by the virus when they came to serve their terms.

Mr. Rajarao said the remaining eight of them were referred to the local Government General Hospital for medical check-ups after they showed signs of weakness. A series of tests confirmed they were suffering from AIDS.

He said the eight of them had admitted that their risky sexual behaviour was responsible for their condition. “The prison records show that Yedukondalu was hit by the AIDS causing virus in 2006,” he added.

He ruled out the possibility of AIDS-affliction through blood transfusion or homosexual acts in the jail. “We take all precautions,” he said, informing that the affected patients were given doctor-prescribed diet of 100 gm mutton, 250 ml milk, a boiled egg and multi-vitamin tablets daily.

The jail officials have been asked to submit a detailed report on Friday.

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