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NAT Welcomes Lancet Report Calling for Needle Programs in Prison

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

NAT (National AIDS Trust) welcomes the report Interventions to Reduce HIV Transmission Related to Injecting Drug Use in Prison by Dr Ralf Jürgens, an HIV consultant based in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues on behalf of WHO and published in the January edition of Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The report concludes prisons should have needle and syringe programs and other preventive measures in place to prevent HIV transmission between inmates.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, comments:

“NAT has long been campaigning for HIV prevention programs in prisons. UK prisons do not offer clean needles to allow prisoners who are injecting drugs to protect themselves from HIV infection. Access to condoms in prison is variable and often poor - condoms are not currently available at all in prisons in Northern Ireland.

Sex and drug-use do take place in prisons and prisoners should be given the same tools that we give the rest of society to protect themselves from HIV infection.

In light of this report, we want to see the UK Government commissioning a pilot prison needle exchange programme in 2009.”

Notes to the editor:

Read the Lancet Report in full: Interventions to reduce HIV transmission related to injecting drug use in prison (subscription needed)


For further information please contact:

Katherine Sladden
Communications Officer
020 7814 6733 / 07947 725299


NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
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