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Aug 11, 2016

NAC Says Condom Usage Among Male Inmates at Central Prison is Banned

Enrique Romero

While the issue of men having sex with men is not limited to the free society, at the Belize Central Prison homosexual intercourse among inmates is also widespread.  According to Enrique Romero, Executive Director of the National AIDS Commission, prior to Wednesday’s ruling all attempts to promote condom usage among inmates were futile since prison officers would confiscate condoms from inmates.  The decision, says Romero, should create an opportunity for further sexual education among inmates.

 

Enrique Romero, Exec. Dir., National AIDS Commission

“The prevalence rate for men who have sex with men, the HIV prevalence rate is thirteen point nine percent and at the prison, you know, we have a large population of male inmates who, many of them, engage in sex.  We have several of our partners: the Ministry of Health and PASMO who go in there and hold education sessions with the inmates and provide condoms.  However, when these inmates are to return to their cells, when they are searched by the security guards and condoms are found on them it’s taken away from them.  We have been at the prison, we have held meetings with the officials at the prison and we are hoping to work on a policy for the employees, as well as for the inmates that will deal with the issue of condoms.  And again, this decision that we welcome at the National AIDS Commission will enhance our work, especially as it pertains to the inmates because now we expect that the prison officials will work with us at the National AIDS Commission and our partners in facilitating the condoms for the inmates.”

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