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Ukraine: Separate Prisons Planned For AIDS-Infected

By Miroslava Didukh

Odessa, 22 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Ukraine's National Anti-AIDS Committee says that the Interior Ministry plans to build special men's and women's prisons to segregate prisoners who are infected with the AIDS virus.

Committee Chairman Valery Ivasyuk says that the prisons will be built in the Black Sea port of Odessa because Odessa has the highest concentration of HIV-infected people, and has an AIDS prevention center. Our correspondent in Kyiv reports that the segregation is considered necessary, in part, to protect infected prisoners from violence by other inmates.

Odessa's authorities are protesting the plan. The Interior Ministry has created a commissioon headed by Internal Affairs Minister Bogdan Kravchenko to discuss the issue with Odessa Mayor Bogdan Kravchenko.

Officialy, Ukraine has registered 11,000 cases of HIV infection. Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports that expert estimates place the actual number at many times that figure.