§ Mr. Hancock
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if medical checks made on incoming prisoners include a test for the acquired immune deficiency syndrome virus.
§ Mr. Mellor
There is no statutory power to take blood in the absence of consent. A test to detect antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (the virus from which AIDS can develop) is considered only if an inmate requests one or if the medical officer judges a test to be clinically appropriate and the inmate concerned gives informed consent. In either circumstances the inmate will be counselled to ensure that he understands the full consequences of being identified as HIV antibody positive.
One purpose of the medical examination and inquiry to which all inmates are subject on first reception is to establish whether there is a history or risk of infectious disease calling for further investigation.