AIZAWL, Oct 3 - With high prevalence of HIV among prison inmates, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), in collaboration with FHI 360 and Mizoram State AIDS Control Society launched Prison HIV Intervention Programme in Mizoram today.
Launching the programme, Mizoram Health Minister Lal Thanzara said, �I am happy that NACO has started the prison intervention as we are aware that majority of the inmates fall in the category of High Risk Group, vulnerable to HIV.�
Senior officials from NACO and FHI 360 from Delhi attended the launch programme held at Aijal Club here.
Dr Neeraj Dhingra, deputy director general (Targetted Intervention), NACO, Dr Bitra George, country director FHI 360 and Dr CV Dharma Rao, joint secretary, NACO, Ministry of H&FW also spoke in the function.
The goal of the intervention programme is to improve access and quality of HIV prevention, care and treatment services for people living in prisons. The project will cover Aizawl Central Jail and district jails.
Forty per cent of the inmates of Aizawl central jail are said to be injecting drug users.
The statistics collected by State Excise and Narcotics department indicate that since 1991, considerably more drug-related deaths in Mizoram have been due to prescription drugs, mainly Spasmo-proxyvon and Parvon Spas, than to heroin.
With the shift to injecting drug use and the accompanying sharing of needles, HIV started to spread in the drug users� community. Injecting drug use is the second most common form of HIV transmission in Mizoram next to unprotected sex.