HC Deb 21 June 1995 vol 262 cc291-2W
Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many cases of HIV and AIDS have been reported in prisons in Northern Ireland for each year since 1986; [28975]

Mr. Freeman

The information requested is available only from April 1992 onwards, and is as follows:

(2) how many prisoners have been infected with HIV while in prison in Northern Ireland; [28974]

(3) how many inmates are currently HIV positive or have AIDS in prisons in Northern Ireland. [28976]

Sir John Wheeler

Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Northern Ireland Prison Service under its chief executive, Mr. Alan Shannon. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from B. R. D. White to Rev. Martin Smyth, dated 20 June 1995: In the absence of the Chief Executive, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me to reply to the three Parliamentary Questions you have tabled relating to the number of reported cases of AIDS and HIV in Northern Ireland Prisons. There have been no known cases of prisoners with AIDS reported in Northern Ireland since 1986. In the same period only one prisoner has identified himself as HIV positive. HIV antibody tests are treated in medical confidence and information is not centrally available to determine if there are further HIV positive prisoners in the prison system. Records are kept by the Department of Health and Social Services based on test results notified by test facilities but these are included in statistics for Heath Board Regions and do not specify positive tests among prisoners in individual establishments. There is no medical evidence to suggest that any prisoners have been infected with HIV whilst in prison in Northern Ireland. There are no known cases of AIDS among the current prison population in Northern Ireland and at present only one prisoner is reported to be HIV positive. I hope that this information is helpful.