Opportunities to Diagnose, Treat, and Prevent HIV in the Criminal Justice System
Department of Medicine, The Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.56). 12/2010; 55 Suppl 1(S1):S49-55. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181f9c0f7
Persons involved with the criminal justice system are at risk for HIV and other transmissible diseases due to substance use and related risk behaviors. Incarceration provides a public health opportunity to test for HIV, viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections, provide treatment such as highly active antiretroviral therapy, and link infected persons to longitudinal comprehensive HIV care upon their release for such comorbidities as addiction and mental illness. Delivering health interventions inside prisons and jails can be challenging, yet the challenges pale in comparison to the benefits of interventions for inmates and their communities. This article reviews the current state of delivering HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and transition services to incarcerated populations in the United States. It concludes with summary recommendations for research and practice to improve the health of inmates and their communities.