Gorakhpur district jail organised a blood donation camp for inmates in the jail premises with the objective of social service but they witness a shocking reality. Jail officials found 24 prisoners Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive. Out of total who have tested HIV positive comprise 21 under trails and three convicts including a woman. Talking about the matter, jail superintendent Ram Dhani said that most of the HIV positive prisoners have been jailed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985. Since last 4 months, these people have tested HIV positive in the jail. The lone woman who tested HIV positive is in the jail since March 14.

However, jail officials are denying the reports that the disease spread inside the Gorakhpur jail. Dhani said, “prisoners were already infected when they arrived at the jail.” When journalists approached the Gorakhpur Range DIG (Jail) Yajuvendra to know about his views on the matter. He said, “In October last year, on the initiative of Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society, a camp was started to conduct blood tests on prisoners to detect HIV. Of the 2,000-odd prisoners, over half have been tested.” After being reported HIV positive, prisoners have been admitted to the Baba Raghav Das Medical College, Gorakhpur.

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Last year, the hospital where the HIV positives are being treated, was in headlines in August and November when more than 60 children died in the hospital due to short supply of oxygen. The tests have been conducted at 70 jails of Uttar Pradesh till December, last year and 265 prisoners have tested HIV positive.  The cases have been reported from the various ranges of UP such as Bareilly, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Faizabad, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Kanpur. Uttar Pradesh police officials have cited health awareness among prisoners for organising these kinds of camps.

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