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HIV positive detainees receive proper treatment

Woolas: Those who require ongoing treatment accompanied by a suitable medical escort 4th March 2009: The UK Border Agency examines with great care each individual case before detention and removal, Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has said.

Mr. Evan Harris MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, sought to know from the Home Office the steps taken to ensure that mechanisms for returning failed asylum seekers to their countries, with particular reference to the facilities in immigration removal centres, take account of the needs of HIV-positive people.

In a written answer, Mr. Woolas said that the UK Border Agency “take into account all individual circumstances including, where appropriate, any serious medical conditions or other compassionate circumstances. Consideration is given to fitness to travel and whether the necessary medical treatment is available in the country to which the individual is being returned.”

He said that all UK Border Agency immigration removal centres have a healthcare team and medical practitioner responsible for the care of the physical and mental heath of all those detained, including failed asylum seekers.

“Detainees who are known to be HIV positive at the point of detention or who are diagnosed as being HIV positive while in detention will receive the appropriate medical care and treatment during their detention. Removals are then carried out in accordance with Home Office policy and guidelines, and with every care and consideration to the dignity and health of the individual. Individuals diagnosed as suffering from a particular medical condition which requires ongoing treatment, including HIV, will be accompanied by a suitable medical escort,” he said.

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