Prisoners living with HIV/Aids at Kisoko Prison in Tororo District have decried lack of access to antiretroviral drugs.
Mr Joseph Odwor, one of the HIV positive inmates, said they had been discontinued from treatment due to lack of ARV drugs.
“At the time of my arrest, I was on ARVs treatment getting my drugs at Masafu District hospital but when I was transferred to this prison, the medication was stopped,” he told a team of Christians from Embassy of God Ministries Church, who had paid a visit to the prison at the weekend.
Mr Odwor is on remand on threatening violence charges. He is a resident of Bukobe ‘’B’’ Village in Lumino Sub-county in Busia District. He said their efforts to seek redress from the prison authorities have been futile.
“We need those drugs to prolong our lives but it’s unfortunate that we are being neglected. The life of prisoners living with HIV/Aids is now at stake,” he said.
He appealed to government and development partners to consider extending health outreaches to rural prisons to enable prisoners access free HIV/Aids counselling and testing to know their status.
Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Frank Baine admitted the challenges of access to ARVs in prisons but blamed it on failures by the inmates to present their medication forms.
“Most of the inmates fear to disclose their status during the time of arrest and make it difficult for prisons authorities to ascertain the type of medication they were being administered,” Mr Baine said.
Mr John Paul Owor Olowo, who led the delegation to the prisoners, pledged to lobby Christians to ensure the prison wards are fumigated.
The Christains also donated sugar, soap and other food stuff to the inmates.