Tackling Blood-Borne Viruses: A framework for prisons in the UK

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Wednesday 6th December 2017

The National AIDS Trust (NAT) published their new report Tackling Blood-Borne Viruses: A framework for prisons in the UK last week, which is a practical resource for supporting action on blood-borne viruses. HIV Scotland supported this work as a member of the Expert Advisory Group, and welcome the publication that focuses on four key areas for action on blood-borne viruses in prisons. These four areas are prevention, testing, treatment & care and tackling stigma & discrimination.

A Scottish study from 2011 found Hepatitis C prevalence amongst the prison population to be 19%, and this framework outlines the actions that prisons should take to provide up-to-date education and information on prevention in prisons, giving prisoners the opportunity to test for BBVs whilst ensuring those with a positive result have the right access to high standard care and treatment.

The Tackling Blood-Borne Viruses: A framework for prisons in the UK outlines two Scottish specific case studies as examples of best practice across the UK. Since 2007, Scotland has provided condoms and dental dams to prisoners in a variety of different ways. The case study on the provision of condoms in Scotland’s prisons recognises that uptake is higher where access to condoms is more anonymous or discreet.

The second case study that recognises good practice is the Prison Link Project, which is run by Waverley Care. This supports people living with hepatitis C on release from HMP Barlinnie and aims to equip people leaving prison with the resources to allow them to better manage their health, clear and move forward with their lives.

Read the full document [PDF - 714kB]