HC Deb 20 March 1987 vol 112 cc672-4W
Mr. Meacher

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many young persons he estimates have been, or are, currently held in secure units in community homes under care orders who have the AIDS virus; under what Act and section they are held; and how long they have been held;

(2) how many young persons held in community homes have been tested for HIV; how many of these were consulted before the tests were carried out, how many agreed and refused; how many were HIV positive, and, in the case of this latter group, what consequent decisions have been taken concerning their treatment or detention.

Mr. Fowler

[pursuant to his reply, 19 March 1987]: Following statements made by the hon. Member earlier this week, officials from my Department spoke to the officers in charge of each of the country's 40 secure units. Information from that check and from our two youth treatment centres shows that no child is being held because he or she has the AIDS virus.

Criteria for admission to secure accommodation are strict and are laid down by law. They are administered by the juvenile courts. I do not believe that a juvenile court would issue a secure accommodation order simply because a child has the AIDS virus and it would be wrong to do so.

Medical records of children in secure accommodation are confidential and are not held centrally.

I hope the hon. Member will now withdraw his allegation that children are being locked away in secure accommodation because they have the AIDS virus.