Representational image.

Around 114 inmates, mostly drug addicts, were reportedly detected as being HIV positive in various jails in Assam.

Assam’s Inspector General of Prisons, Barnali Sharma said that in recent months 114 people, including a woman, have tested positive for HIV.

She said that effective measures have been taken for their treatment and prevention of the spread of the disease.

“Health officials are further screening and testing their blood samples. Adequate steps were taken as per the health protocols. We would not disclose further details of the HIV cases in prisons in Assam due to obvious reasons,” Sharma said.

According to reports, early 85 jail inmates, including undertrials, recently tested HIV positive in the Central jail and the Special jail in Nagaon, said an official.

The official said most of the prisoners are drug addicts and intravenous drug abusers (IDU) (people who self-inject drugs by syringe).

These HIV cases were detected in recent times, the official added.

Thousands of people, comprising drug abusers and peddlers, mainly youths, have been arrested by the security personnel in Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and other north-eastern states under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Officials of the AIDS Control Society in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur said the trend of IDUs is rising at an alarming rate among the youth between 15 and 20 years in the Northeast, especially in Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.

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