Number of drug using people in Lithuanian prisons has been growing every year: in the beginning of 2001, 1010 people in total were on a record of dispensary care, which made 8.8% of all imprisoned persons at that time. The same percent has increased in the beginning of 2002 reaching 12.25%, and growing up to 13.3% in the beginning of 2003. Drug availability and unsafe use of illegal drugs, especially sharing of needles and syringes in one of the fourteen country's penal establishments - Alytus strict regime correctional facility - resulted in a rapid HIV outbreak in spring 2002. Three hundred prisoners infected with HIV were identified during the voluntary testing. Though majority of prisoners are quite well informed about HIV, their knowledge does not alter the risky behavior. The well-informed on HIV prisoners, nevertheless, use drugs despite the risk of HIV infection. Furthermore, shortage in treatment of drug use, in rehabilitation and occupation of prisoners provide benevolent conditions for rapid spread of HIV and other blood-born infections in the Lithuanian penitentiaries. Many prisoners are not able to reintegrate into society after their release because of broken social relationships, lack of social services in the country, therefore they do often relapse into a drug use, and endanger not only their close people but also society in whole. HIV and virus hepatitis might be transmitted from them to a general population by a variety of transmission modes.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|