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Condoms in Prison

People confined in prisons are allowed to engage in sex when their partners visit them. This is a privilege provided to inmates to maintain their intimacy with their partners in life.

Many of the jail management bureaus in the different parts of the world recognize this need the reason why it is working out programs for the safety of inmates. One valuable program that has been implemented in jails is the distribution of condoms among the prisoners. The other goal of this program other than serving as a contraceptive is to protect the inmates from the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.

Reports show that the male blacks have a higher risk of getting the HIV virus and eventually developing AIDS owing to the fact that they also have a higher risk of being imprisoned compared to the whites and Latinos in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed as well that more than half of the new HIV infections in the country are in blacks. Additionally, more than 40 percent of prisoners in the U.S. are black while the rate of acquiring AIDS among prisoners is three times higher than the rate in the general public.

Inside the jail, HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact as well as through the use of intravenous drugs. Authorities are concerned that when these black inmates get infected while they’re in prison, there’s a huge possibility that they can also transmit the disease to other people notably when they are finally released to their local community.

Fortunately, some state governments have provided intervention to address the issue through the giving of condoms via a condom machine as in the case of San Francisco. This has, so far, led to less sexual activity and less high-risk behavior.

In 2011, the Justice Act was proposed by Rep. Barbara Lee to address the issue concerning the spread of HIV during and after incarceration. The proposed bill aims to legalize condoms distribution in prisons and jails. In the past years, certain cause-oriented groups have protested against government’s move to withhold tools that can help prevent STD spread as a human rights violation.

Certain international organizations such as the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, the World Health Organization and the American Public Health Association have endorsed the program focusing on distributing condoms in correctional facilities saying it is very effective. In Europe, condoms are allowed to be distributed in prisons and jails. The number of prison systems in the continent went up from 53 percent to 81 percent in a period of eight years until 1997.


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