Lithuania's interior ministry set up a special commission to respond to an HIV outbreak in the country's prisons after initial tests showed that about one-third of prisoners may have the virus. The country's AIDS center announced last week that 87 out of 346 prisoners tested in Alytus prison were HIV-positive -- more than the 72 new HIV cases registered throughout all Lithuania in 2001. Results of tests from another 600 prisoners from the same prison are expected within days, and officials are hesitant to speculate whether the trend may hold throughout the total prison population of 11,000. Lithuania has had one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe, with only 361 registered cases among its 3.4 million people to date.
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