BONELA seminar to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention in Botswana prisons

16 February 2007
BONELA seminar to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention in Botswana prisons

GABORONE – BONELA will host a one-day seminar aimed at raising stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention in prisons. The event will be held at Maharaja Conference Centre on Tuesday, 20 February 2007 at 8:00a.m.

Duma Boko, chair of the Botswana Law Society, will be among the distinguished panel of speakers who will address participants at Tuesday’s event. Other speakers will include Drs. Godisang Mookodi and Tresa Galvin from the University of Botswana, practising attorney Mboki Chilisa, BONASO Director Daniel Motsatsing and Femi Odunsi, a researcher with the University of Pretoria.

Bringing together representatives from Government, the Botswana Prison Service, BDF, NACA and UN agencies, the seminar will address the following topics: the human rights of prisoners in the context of HIV/AIDS; the impact of Botswana’s Penal Code on HIV prevention in prisons; and, the effect of homophobic attitudes on the provision of condoms in prisons. These topics will be addressed from various perspectives in the hope of stimulating discussion amongst the invited stakeholders.

In keeping with Botswana’s Vision 2016 goal to stop new infections of HIV/AIDS, BONELA is committed to closing the gaps in HIV control measures. Prisoners are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection; consequently, the need for providing HIV prevention methods in prisons cannot be overlooked.

“Botswana cannot achieve the ideals of Vision 2016 without providing everyone equally good access to HIV prevention methods and services,” says BONELA Research and Advocacy Officer Yorokee Kapimbua. “If we are to become the compassionate, caring and just society that we are striving to be, we must recognise and uphold the rights of all people within our borders, including prisoners.”