HC Deb 12 February 1997 vol 290 c241W
Dr. Godman

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many(a) male prisoners and (b) female prisoners (i) are HIV positive and (ii) have AIDS; and if he will make a statement. [15111]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The subject of the question relates to matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked the chief executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Dr. Norman A. Godman, dated 12 February 1997: Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your question about the number of prisoners in Scotland who are HIV positive or have AIDS. Prisoners are encouraged to undergo testing for transmissible diseases on a voluntary basis. The results are confidential to prison medical staff and individual prisoners and are not collated centrally. Independent research surveys have been commissioned, however, to estimate the prevalence of HIV among prisoners. Eleven surveys were carried out in 8 establishments between 1991 and 1996, conducted by Drs Graham Bird and Sheila Gore. Prisoners gave a saliva sample and completed a questionnaire, on a voluntary and anonymous basis. Although HIV is not found in saliva, the tests can identify antibodies which the body makes against the virus. The results are given in the following table. Cornton Vale holds female prisoners.

Results of voluntary anonymous screening of prisoners for HIV+
Year Establishment Number of prisoners tested Number of prisoners HIV+
1991 HMP Edinburgh 363 17 (5 per cent.)
1992 HMP Edinburgh 236 8 (3 per cent.)
HM YOI Polmont 421 0 (0 per cent.)
1993 HMP Glenochil 227 12 (3 per cent.)
1994 HMP Glenochil 296 7 (2 per cent.)
HM YOI Glenochil 162 0 (0 per cent.)
HMP Barlinnie 978 10 (1 per cent.)
1995 HMP Perth 304 6 (2 per cent.)
HMP and YOI Cornton Vale 136 0 (0 per cent.)
1996 HMP Low Moss 293 2 (1 per cent.)
HMP Aberdeen 157 2 (2 per cent.)