HIV/TB co-morbidity in 7 correctional facilities in Uganda
Thomas Muyunga, Ssemujju Nganda
Introduction: Rehabilitation of in-mates in Uganda is done under the Judiciary arm of government. Although, the army and State Security Operatives have incarceration places where people are held pending investigations of cases. The Health of all people under incarceration or captive is of concern to the captors much as it is for the captured or their own relatives and friends. This report shows the frequently demanded health needs by in-mates. This study was limited to HIV/AIDS issues among in-mates.
Methods: 120 in-mates in 7 in mate correction centers were followed for 3 months, rehabilitation center records, anecdotal recollections from ex-in mates and desk review of literature by organisations working with in-mates show that there are unique needs faced by in-mates. The list shows: Living with HIV-AIDS in a prison setting is a very crucial issue to deal with; TB care needs, children prisoners posed unique needs including parental love, skin diseases, and sexually transmitted diseases, food supplements for debilitated in-mates, wound dressing needs and psycho-social support.
Results: Clearly sexual reproductive Health issues among in-mates seem to be complicated further by un addressed issues of Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections. There is denial that in-mates do not have sexual-reproductive needs. This has led to a general neglect of these health needs. Where HIV is concerned, co-infections especially with TB is diagnosed in time if SRH services were fully extended to rehabilitation services.
Conclusion: Carrying out HIV testing for in-mates as a right enables earlier diagnosis and disclosure issues for separated couples as a result of incarceration. Discordance issues that may arise are dealt with in time. Other underlying HIV related infections are treated in time. An infection like TB is handled well and its spread reduced in rehabilitation settings. Morbidity of in-mates as a result of TB is reduced and exposure of TB to others in/outside prison settings is also controlled.