Hispanics, Incarceration, and TB/HIV Screening: A Missed Opportunity for Prevention
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- Dumont, D.M., Gjelsvik, A., Chen, N. et al. J Immigrant Minority Health (2013) 15: 711. doi:10.1007/s10903-012-9764-6
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Disparities in incarceration rates and in prison-based TB/HIV testing may contribute to health disparities in the communities most affected by incarceration. We analyzed Bureau of Justice Statistics surveys of federal and state prison inmates to assess TB and HIV screening rates for US-born Hispanics, foreign-born Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic whites. Screening rates were high overall but foreign-born Hispanic inmates had significantly lower odds of being tested for TB in both state (AOR 0.55) and federal prisons (AOR 0.31) compared to white inmates. Foreign-born Hispanics also had lower odds of being tested for HIV in state prisons and Hispanics had lower odds of being tested for HIV in federal prisons compared to white inmates. Screening for infectious diseases in state and federal prisons is high but Hispanics have higher odds of going untested; this has important consequences for prevention of further transmission in the communities to which they return.