asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the procedure laid down by his Department for the protection of the prison officers involved with prisoners in the custody of Her Majesty's prisons who are known to be AIDS victims or carriers of that virus;(2) if he will make a statement on the procedure laid down by his Department for the protection of the prison officers involved with prisoners in the custody of Her Majesty's Government who are known to be hepatitis B victims or carriers of that virus.
The procedural guidance issued by the prison department provides for infected prisoners who are ill (in the acute phase of hepatitis B infection or suffering from symptoms of AIDS or an AIDS-related condition) to be located either in a prison hospital or removed to National Health Service facilities. For both hepatitis B and HIV carriers who are asymptomatic certain regime restrictions have been advised, the precise restrictions applied in a particular case being a matter for the medical officer. Arrangements have also been introduced which enable appropriate staff to be informed, in such a way that medical confidentiality is preserved, of cases in which restrictions have been applied. Other measures taken include guidance on procedures to be followed in the event of incidents involving risk of exposure to infection, and the introduction of arrangements under which health care staff are offered the opportunity to he vaccinated against hepatitis B.