On March 22 the State Coordination Council Working Group held a meeting in the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and discussed the issues related to Syringe Programs and HIV/AIDS prevention. The activities carried out by the group are supported by the “Open Society Georgia Foundation”, Open Society Institute and Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal network.
The aim of the group is to reduce the risk of spread of blood borne infections in the prisons of Georgia. It consists of the representatives from State Coordination Council, Parliament, Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance, International and Non-governmental organizations and experts of the relevant fields.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS recommendations, in order to reduce the risk of spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis in prisons, the special measures must be taken. These measures must cover the following aspects:
- Education of prisoners and provision of information to them.
- Distribution of condoms and implementation of other activities needed to prevent the transmission of the mentioned diseases by sexual contact.
- Implementation of Needle and Syringe Program.
- Drug Treatment – using the Opioid Therapy methods.
- Consultations and Voluntary HIV testing.
- Treatment and Support of HIV-infected individuals using the methods of antiretroviral treatment.