, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 165-170

Managing HIV/AIDS in correctional settings

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Abstract

Approximately one quarter of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States pass through the correctional system, resulting in a burden of infection on the correctional health care system that has challenged correctional and public health officials. The HIV epidemic behind bars results from the high prevalence of HIV risk behaviors among those incarcerated: illicit drug use, untreated mental illness, prostitution, homelessness, and poverty. Challenges to HIV care in correctional settings include management of comorbid conditions, remoteness from HIV care sites, organizational constraints, and access to effective therapies. Despite these challenges, prisoners with HIV have derived considerable benefit from HIV detection and treatment. In order to achieve parity in HIV outcomes among vulnerable populations, effective prison-release programs that incorporate effective case management with effective drug treatment and adherence strategies are required to extend the benefit of highly active antiretroviral therapy as prisoners transition back to community settings.