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Russia To Open HIV Inmate Prison

April 20, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) _ Authorities in a Siberian region will open a separate prison for inmates infected with HIV, a news report said Thursday.

About 600 HIV-positive convicts are imprisoned in the Irkutsk region, and another 300 infected people are being held in pre-trial detention, said Boris Gronik, chief of the regional Justice Ministry office in charge of prison administration.

Gronik said infected inmates present a danger to other prisoners, and need to be removed, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

``Unless they are all gathered in one place, the situation may get out of control,″ Gronik was quoted as saying.

Russia already has one special prison for HIV-positive convicts, ITAR-Tass said. The jail is located in the Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, which has one of the highest concentrations of AIDS cases in Russia.

HIV has spread fast in Russia. More than 30,000 cases were reported in March.

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