Improving Testing Services for People Most at Risk for HIV and Linking to ART Services

Improving Testing Services for People Most at Risk for HIV and Linking to ART Services


This project aims to set up the first prison intervention model for HIV prevention, care and treatment in Punjab, one of the highest HIV burden states in India. The project strategy will encompass a community driven approach by and for prison inmates to provide HIV testing, antiretroviral therapy (ART) and viral load monitoring services in prisons. These services will be supported with advocacy, community mobilization and research. The project will also address treatment adherence and follow-up of prison inmates after release from prison. Through consultation and close coordination with the government and other key stakeholders the project will be designed to enable program transition to the state prison system after completion. Scale-up of the model is envisaged for other states.

Project details

Time frame
31 March 2016 - 30 November 2019
€ 299,991
Active in


Main outcomes:
# Established a working partnership with the state prison authorities to implement state wide prison intervention for HIV prevention among prison inmates most at risk for HIV.
# Developed community (prison staff and prison inmates) ownership to the prison intervention program.
# 90-90-90 targets reached for prison inmates
# Evidence based prison intervention program implemented in Punjab

Community groups

22837 inmates in 8 prisons in Punjab


In India, it has been observed that highest HIV prevalence is amongst the IDUs community and there is an increasing number of new IDUs reported every year. A national study reveals that 1.7 percent of inmates were HIV positive and WHO analytical report for India states that HIV rates are between 0% and 14% among women prisoners, and between 1% and 7% among male prisoners. Men and women spend time in closed settings including in prisons virtually will return to their communities within a few months to a year and spread the infection to spouses or partners. Hence in order to sustain the gains made and to strengthen the current efforts of the national programmes and aims at providing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for those living in closed settings and for those employed by prison authorities.

The state of Punjab has two high prevalence districts (Ludhiana and Bhatinda) out of the total 17 districts. The project will be implemented in 8 jails. The state has an estimated of 31,961 number of People Living with HIV infection with an adult prevalence of 0.18%. An estimated number of 9265 need ART.
In Punjab, HIV interventions in closed settings such as prisons is yet to be intiated and is of great concern. There is a growing population of Injecting Drugs Users. 30% of prison inmates are from injecting background. In Punjab there are 8 Central Jails, 6 District Jails, 9 Sub Jails, 1 Women Jail,1 Borstal Jail, 1 Open Jail, with total inmates of 22837.


Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
Contributed within this project
< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
Contributed within this project

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