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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Almost Half of Inmates in Russia's Notorious Prison System Are Ill, Many Infected with HIV

Prison systems around the world house more drug addicts than any other type of "offender"; it makes no difference if you are in the United States or Russia. It seems that most countries would rather lock up addicts than help guide them towards recovery, with broken systems that basically guarantee an in-and-out of jail life for the addict - recidivism rates are staggering because prison does not cure addiction and in many ways helps in the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, there are many IV drug users who wind up in jail that are sick with HIV or Hepatitis C, there are also those who contract viruses while incarcerated and there is not adequate health care to address the problem. There are some countries that have let certain viruses and diseases go unchecked in their prisons and now they have a major problem on their hands.

One such country is Russia, where "almost half of inmates in Russia's notorious prison system are ill, many infected with HIV or with tuberculosis, the country's Federal Prison Service said late Tuesday", Reuters reports. Afghanistan is the world's largest Opium and heroin producer and is not far from Russia which allows Afghan drugs to find their way into Russia with relative ease. Out of 846,000 prisoners, 55,000 are infected with HIV and 40,000 inmates have tuberculosis. The report emphasizes "the country's AIDS epidemic which Moscow blames on drug users who inject heroin from nearby Afghanistan". According to Reuters, "health campaigners have also blamed Russian prisons for the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in recent decades, as inmates fail to complete courses of medication" (Ferris-Rotman, 7/14). According to the report, 67,500 suffer mental disorders and 15,000 have syphilis, ironically syphilis can make a person literally go crazy and can be cured with a regiment of Penicillin.

Afghanistan is not the reason for the epidemics occurring in Russia, lack of education and poor health care systems are the primary causes. Afghanistan has its own share of problems with addiction and epidemics due to lack of education. "Over 85 percent of the injecting drug users (IDUs) interviewed in a joint survey by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Afghan government said they had shared a needle or syringe to inject drugs", IRIN reports. The world needs to come together and seriously start addressing these epidemics that are tearing underdeveloped countries apart. Education is what keeps epidemics at bay in America why couldn't it work elsewhere.

1 comment:


    It's only God that can heal the world...He loves us all and that's why he sent his only son to deliver us from our sins. (JOHN 3:16)
    prayer changes.


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