Feature story

African HIV prisons network receives prestigious international award

02 November 2010

ICPA Executive Director, Mr. Ed Wozniak presenting the award to Dr Fabienne Hariga, Senior Expert, HIV/AIDS Section at UNODC who accepted the award on behalf of the network.

The African HIV in Prisons Partnership Network (AHPPN) has been presented with the prestigious 2010 Healthcare Award by the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA).The award was given during the Association's Annual Conference which took place in Ghent, Belgium from 24 - 29 October.

The Executive Director of ICPA, Mr Ed Wozniak, noted that the award was given in light of the “remarkable and innovative work in the area of HIV of the African HIV in Prisons Partnership Network (AHPPN)”.   

The AHPPN is an initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It was created to support governments in their efforts to mount an effective, human rights-based response to HIV and TB in prisons in Africa, and to offer a platform for national, international and multi-sectoral cooperation and action.

According to a 2007 UNODC report existing data suggest high HIV prevalence rates among African prisoners as compared to the general adult population. A study cited in the report indicated HIV prevalence as high as 40% among prisoners in some prisons in South Africa. (The study was conducted in a limited number of prisons and not considered representative of the entire prison population in South Africa.).

Formally launched in November 2009 by UNODC, in partnership with the World Health Organization, the World Bank and UNAIDS, the work of the AHPPN is guided by the belief that ‘good prison health is good public health’.

The network’s efforts include a new website, and has built a comprehensive data collection questionnaire to gather up-to-date and reliable primary source data on HIV in prison settings.

Accepting the ICPA Healthcare Award on behalf of the AHPPN was Dr Fabienne Hariga, Senior Expert, HIV/AIDS Section at UNODC and AHPPN Steering Committee member and Zambian Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Percy Chato.