Voluntary counseling and testing standards (VCT) in prison
VCT standards demand that HIV testing be performed with informed consent.
VCT standards demand that HIV testing be performed with informed consent, which is difficult in punitive systems, such as prisons. Any community-led intervention needs to ensure that the confidentiality of test results is secured and that interventions will not create negative consequences for prisoners tested.
A breach in confidentiality can lead to:
- exclusion from social activities (sports etc);
- exclusion from work places, such as laundry or kitchen;
- discrimination by other inmates and/or by prison staff or health care personnel.
The discriminative nature of such internal restrictions is obvious. Germany has an anti-discrimination laws and regulations that secure the rights and safety of PLHIV throughout the country. However, positive test results in prison can, at the individual level, lead to extremely difficult situations. They can destroy wellbeing, careers and lives.