14 Feb 2006

Fiji prisons medical officer says human rights extend to people other than HIV-positive

4:07 pm on 14 February 2006

The medical officer for four prisons in Fiji says the respect for human rights is not a one-way street when it comes to prisoners with HIV-Aids.

Dr Aiyas Saleem is calling for the compulsory testing for HIV-Aids of all prisoners entering the corrections system.

He says they can then be treated appropriately - including isolation from the rest of the prison population.

But the Ministry of Health says compulsory testing may breach prisoners' right not to have their illnesses made public.

But Dr Saleem says others have rights as well.

"What about the rights of the community at large? What about the rights of those prisoners who are not positive? What about the rights of the prison officers who look after them?"

Fiji prison medical officer, Dr Aiyas Saleem.