HIV/AIDS prevention program in a detention facility in Florencio Varela, Argentina
M.F. Campos1, C. Quiroga2, M. Vázquez1, M. Rojo1
1Fundacion Huesped, Epidemiology and Prevention, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2Asociaciación Civil Unión y Solidaridad, Florencio Varela, Argentina
Issues: Argentina is a country with a concentrated epidemic. HIV/Aids prevalence among prisoners is estimated in 6%. The Penitentiary System reports 2.11% prevalence; but the amount of people living with HIV that are not aware of their status remains unknown. Therefore, focusing actions on this population will report an important reduction in a high risk group.
Description: We designed and implemented a HIV/Aids prevention program in detention facility on the Buenos Aires Province. The Unit has a population of 700 male inmates. The principal objective was to set-up a counseling center managed by a group of inmates. A group of 25 took a 10 session workshop and at the ending inaugurated a Counseling Center. The group began the activity elaborating a diagnosis of their own situation. The main problems detected were: there were testing campaigns in the facility but without counseling; there was a lack of knowledge regarding to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, they use condoms in sexual relationships among them but not when they have sex with their steady couples.
Lessons learned: The acceptance of the authorities was crucial to gain access to the facility. Although there are many issues that that should be improved regarding to the state responsibility in the inmates health a low profile entrance strategy was required in order to allow the project settlement. Inmate's involvement was higher than expected, especially among those enrolled in education activities and students´ union.
Next steps: The technical assistance from the foundation professionals will continue in order to provide support to problematic situations that could take place during the counseling process. An advocacy strategy will be needed with the purpose of improving health conditions of prisoner's population.
Project funded by a Switzerland Embassy grant
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