XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Women in prison settings: the need of a sexual and reproductive approach for HIV and other STIs prevention and attention

M.C. De Azcárraga Urteaga1, A. González Rodríguez1, J. Arellano- Ayala2, N. Gras Allain2, S. Bautista3

1Mexico City HIV/AIDS Programe, Vicedirection of Prevention, México City, Mexico, 2Clinica Especializada en HIV/AIDS Condesa (Mexico City AIDS Program), Prevention Area, Mexico City, Mexico, 3Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública de México, Mexico City, Mexico

Issues: In Mexico City, approximately 2,500 women live in prison. Inside and outside prison, they suffer several particular conditions as marginalization, gender inequity, the exposure to different types of violence (sexual, economical, domestic, and psychological), poverty, economical dependence and so. These issues place women in a situation of high vulnerability and, as a consequence, in a high risk of acquiring HIV and other STIs, including HPV.
Description: The Mexico City HIV/AIDS program decided to address the problem through a project with three components: detection of TB, HIV; syphilis, herpes, HBV, HCV and metabolic disorders; attention of these diseases; prevention of new infections. After visiting the women penitentiaries, it was noticed that inmates mainly suffer menstrual disorders, stress, inadequate health conditions as overcrowding, bad hygiene and bad feeding; lack of basic medicines and periodical monitoring; deficient health services and difficulties to access to them -caused by corruption- and sexual abuse.
Lessons learned: The project must to include specific illnesses with the aim of integrate sexual and reproductive health services. Only one of the two penitentiaries has health service but none of them addresses HIV and other STIs and sexual and reproductive services. There are difficulties to access to basic medicines and to be taken to the hospital if an emergency happens.
Next steps: To favor the access to Health Services with quality and friendly treatment including confidentiality and informed consent for all the inmates of Santa Martha and Tepepan women jails in order to assure their sexual and reproductive rights. Detection and treatment of HIV and other STIs including HPV; treatment of damages; breast and/or cervical cancer; menstrual disorders and nutritional problems, as anemia, for example. To involve other health areas as reproductive health (abortion, pregnancy monitoring, condoms and other anticontraception methods), access to quick hospitalization, surgery related to women cancer, etc.

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