Anybody who has been deprived of their freedom at any level and under any condition, suffers from a punishment given after their judgment for a crime they have committed, and the sentence which has to be served needs to be orientated to the reentry into society of the convict.
In Spain, there are 55,000 people in jail and approximately 23% are HIV+. More than 50% are male drug users and 1 out of 3 are still using injected drugs (36% of the men who use injected drugs admit that they have shared syringes before). From 1989 to 1998, penitentiary centers reported 4,243 cases of AIDS, 8.5% of the total amount in Spain.
In Catalonia, the rate of HIV infection in prisons varies from 4.8% to 3.37% a year, depending on the nature of the penitentiary center, whether it is a preventive or convicting center" (A study on the HIV incidence in prison. A. Marco, C. Gallego, R. Guerrero and all. Revista Española de Sanidad Penitenciaria. 2001)
Since 1993, to take on the problem of illegal drug consumption and drug trafficking in penitentiary centers, the World Health Organization and the European Council have decided to recommend the need to set up Syringe Exchange Programs (SEP) in prison, in order to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
In Spain, of the 80 penitentiary centers, only 10 in 5 Automomous Regions (Euskadi, Canarias, Navarra, Galicia and Madrid) have started those programs with success and very positive results referring to:
* Decrease in the transmission rate.
* Orientation from the SEPs to other programs.
* No increase in the number of drug users.
* No increase in risk for prison staff.
In Catalonia -- with full judicial competence -- in spite of their good intentions the Ministry of Health and more recently the penitentiary institutions themselves have not been able to bring together all the elements that are needed for the development of the programs and the imprisoned population still share contaminated syringes.
"One of the responsibilities of the
penitentiary administration is to make sure that the life, the
integrity and the health of the people who are deprived of their
freedom is protected, therefore all their efforts must be lead
to the incorporation of all the necessary preventive and supportive
means to respect the legal regulation.
"the exchanging of syringes is a program which has been largely set up outside the penitentiary system in the whole country and is considered to be highly efficient in reducing the risk of infection and re-infection through blood transmission of viruses such as hepatitis and human immune deficiency (HIV)" (Angel Yuse Castillejos, General Director of Penitentiary Institutions).
"The penitentiary health system currently
lacks nurses and nurse assistants and does not benefit from the
appropriate intermediary care or hospitalization services."
"The access of the imprisoned population to the Health Department services would guarantee a system of quality which would be more efficient."
Before the discrimination that is being suffered by the people who are imprisoned in Catalonia and the other Autonomous Regions in Spain, we demand that the following articles be respected:
Article 3 of the General Penitentiary Legislation:
"Imprisoned people must benefit from the same quality health attention as any other free citizen."
Articles 8 and 10 of the Penitentiary Rules:
"The internal organization of the penitentiary centers must make sure that the imprisoned population benefit from the same health attention as when they were free."
"and they will be able to count on the same health facilities."
WE SAY NO TO NEW CASES OF TRANSMISSION IN PRISON, WE WANT SYRINGE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS IN ALL THE PENITENTIAR Y CENTERS OF THE COUNTRY
RED2002 Manifesto for the 14th International AIDS Conference
Since its emergence in the 80's, HIV/AIDS has rapidly spread throughout the world. Our communities are not excluded from this epidemic.
From then on these same communities have tried to give an answer to this world crisis, that has not only affected people's health but has also had social, economical, political and cultural repercussions and has meant in many occasions a violation of Human Rights. This is why a number of prevention strategies were put into action at the same time that support and assistance programs were planned and started for HIV+ people, in spite of the chronic lack of resources and a constant need for evaluation.
Today in 2002, twenty years later, despite the many advances observed in several areas, especially in the clinical area, we have to insist that basic Human Rights have not been adequately respected.
The continuous rise in the number of new HIV infections in the world and in Spain, proves that the prevention policies have not been sufficient or efficient enough.
The generalized invisibility of HIV+ people shows that certain attitudes and policies which tend to stigmatize and exclude the HIV+ population still exist. So far the necessary social and political changes to face this crisis have not come about.
The contrasting mortality rates of the epidemic in the different geographical regions, along with the persistence of certain infections related to HIV, show that economical and political barriers exist. This hinders people's rights to life and health by limiting the access to adequate treatments and care.
For the above stated reasons, the Spanish HIV/AIDS NGOs which carry out actions on prevention, assistance and activism, demand:
The design of prevention policies that cover the necessities of all people, whether they are young, women, men who have sex with men, heterosexual men, sex workers, immigrants or drug users.
More funding for research in order to define the actual needs of each specific population and permit the evaluation of all related actions, along with supporting the training and specialization of professionals that work in HIV/AIDS care and prevention.
The prevention actions that have had success (distribution of condoms and sterile syringes, voluntary and confidential testing and counseling, treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, etc.) be accessible and free.
The inclusion of the gender perspective in HIV prevention, and assistance programs and strategies.
The development of comprehensive care programs that bring about efficient and adequate strategies to meet the needs of people affected from a holistic health perspective.
The participation of people affected by the epidemic in the making of health decisions and policies, including children.
The fight against AIDS be included in the context of Human Rights.
For these reasons, in the following areas we ask for:
A City Plan on AIDS.
A City Office for AIDS Care and Prevention
The introduction of Syringe Exchange Programs (SEP) and prevention projects in every penitentiary centers
Work insertion policies that take into account HIV+ people's specific needs, and condemn work discrimination.
Prevention policies in the educational areas, with a special emphasis on the respect of diversity and the introduction of sexuality as a holistic factor which is part of the vital development of any person.
The introduction of City AIDS programs in the whole country.
Better training and involvement in primary care centers concerning prevention and assistance to HIV+ people.
The planning and development of efficient prevention policies in order to observe actual social changes resulting in the respect of diversity.
The introduction of social policies designed to offer social financial aid that efficiently cover HIV+ people's basic needs and to be compatible with work compensation in order to support HIV+ people's work insertion.
The creation and introduction of actions in the social and professional areas, which condemn the discrimination of HIV+ people in the work insertion area and allow the to have equal opportunities in the work market.
The inclusion of psycho-social criteria in the evaluation of work disability compensations for HIV+ people.
The introduction of personalized attention in the treatment and the medical following of HIV+ people taking into account their specific needs.
The inclusion of dental care and facial surgery in public health aid for HIV+ people.
The inclusion of assisted reproduction for sero-discordant couples in the public health aid, including in vitro fertilization for HIV+ women.
The extension to every penitentiary centers of Syringe Exchange Programs (SEP) and prevention projects.
The respect of HIV+ people's Human Rights as a fundamental basis for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
That any intervention, whether it is for care, prevention or support, be based on the community.
Policies which guarantee the free international circulation of HIV+ people.
The design and introduction of financing programs to help create and improve health infrastructures which will guarantee a universal and immediate access to antiviral treatments, as well as adequate prevention, assistance and care actions.
The increase of financial help and support in the search for an AIDS vaccine.
Adhering organisations: ABD, ACAS FIGUERES ACASGI, ACAS GIRONA, ACAS SANT FELIU G., ACAS OLOT, AGRUPA'T, AIDE, AMBIT PREENCIO, AMUT, ANIDES, APAREA, ASIGA, ASKAGINTZA, ASSOCIACIO AMBIT, ASUME, ASOCIACION T-4, ASUT, ASUT OURENSE, ATOS, AUMMO, AUPA'M CAEX, CALCSICOVA, CAS REUS, CASDA, COMITE ANTISIDA DE ASTURIA, COLECTIVA MOUCHO, COLEGIO DE DOCTORES Y LICENC DE BIZKAIA, COLEGIO EL REGATO, COMISION ANTISIDA DE BIZKAIA, COMISION ANTISIDA DE NAVARRA, COMIT. CIUD ANTISIDA ZAMORA, COM. CIUD. ANTISIDA DE ALAVA, CONVIDA, PLATAFORMA UNITARIA ONG SIDA, CCASK, CCAA, C.PENIT. PANPLONA, CAS GIRONA EKIMEN, FUNDACION LUCIA, GID, GTT, GRDB, GRUPO IGIA, HEGOAK, INTERCAMBIOS (ARGENTINA), ITXAROBIDE, LA MURALLA, METAMORFOSIS, MSFE 4 MUNDO, PLATAFORMA POR LOS DERECHOS DE LOS USUARI@S DE DROGAS, POLITICA CONTROLE DST/AIDS (BRASIL), PROYECTO DE LOS NOMBRES, RAIS, REDARD (ARGENTINA), RED 2002, SARE, SIDA STUDI, SMART SHOP ONIRIA, TRASLIMITE, UNAD, UNIVER-SIDA, VIH-DA ASSOCIACIO.
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