HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment, and Care for female injecting drug users and female prisoners in Peshawar & Mardan Central Jails, Female Barracks

DONOR: UNODC, Pakistan.

BACKGROUND:

The political and geographical context of Pakistan in which DOST works is daunting. There are multiple insurgencies and military operations ongoing in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) which have become crisis zones with great loss of lives, livelihoods, increased militancy, corruption, failure of governance, crimes and a total breakdown of law and order. This has resulted in increased crime ratio in the province which is one of the main reasons of population of Prisons.

Since 1997 DOST has been working in KP prisons and has vast experience of implementing various projects with different vulnerable populations of prisoners. DOST have access to the prisons of KP and has built a very good reputation and a trusting relationship with the prison officials and prisoners, as well as coordination with the prison authorities since it started working in the prisons in 1998. DOST has considerable experience in human rights protection and social rehabilitation programs for vulnerable prisoners in the prisons, by establishing therapeutic communities, providing a range of support services including health care, drug treatment, free legal aid, educational and vocational training services.

Presently over 9000 individuals are imprisoned in 22 prisons across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The total number of women prisoners in  prisons ranges from 200 to 250 at any one time of which over 50 are incarcerated in the two prisons (i.e. Central Prison Peshawar and District Prison Mardan). Available data reveals that female prisoners don’t have appropriate knowledge and skills for HIV prevention and over 50% female inmates incarcerated on drug related crimes including drug use. In prisons living conditions are sub-standard and sub-human for all the inmates generally and especially for vulnerable groups like drug addicts, women and children. The risk of HIV and STI transmission is high in these prisons due to:

a) Overcrowding and unhygienic lodging
b) Unavailability of HIV and STI prevention, counseling and management services
c) Lack of reformative, psycho-social development and recreational activities#
d) Unavailability of proper healthcare services both preventive and curative

PROJECT AIM:

The project primarily aims at reducing and changing risk behaviors of female prisons, for which they will:

a) Understand the basic facts about HIV and STI,
b) Develop favorable attitudes towards prevention,
c) Learn a set of prevention skills
d) Have access to appropriate products and services.

Direct Beneficiaries:

Progress Indicators

Year 2015

Females registered with access to services

1115

No. of Hygiene kits distributed among female prisoners

453

No. of testing services provided for HIV

423

No. of testing services provided for Hep B/C and Syphilis

424

Females received vocational training

139

Prison staff trainings conducted

43