Interview

Canada: “prisoners' health is public health”

Incarcerated persons are at substantially higher risk of getting infected with HIV and HCV. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network develops actions to prevent these infections inside and outside of prison.

Incarcerated persons are at substantially higher risk of getting infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus. Firstly, because people from communities that are already disproportionately affected by HIV, including people who use drugs, face heightened rates of incarceration. This risk is increased by the usually poor health services accessible in prison. Harm reduction programs and methods have been tested and developed for several years to reduce this risk. The tests are promising but these programs continue to be extremely limited in prison settings.1

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network promotes the human rights of people living with, at risk of or affected by, HIV/AIDS. Their work includes research, advocacy, litigation and field work to prevent the spread of HIV and HCV in Canadian prisons. Prison Insider asked them three questions.


  1. Glen Sander et al., “Global State of Harm Reduction in Prisons”, Journal of Correctional Health Care, Vol. 25(2) 105-120, 2019. 

While people who use drugs already face stigma and discrimination in the community, this is decidedly amplified in prison settings

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