AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 331–338 | Cite as

Vulnerability to HIV Among Women Formerly Incarcerated and Women with Incarcerated Sexual Partners

  • Andrea Kim
  • Kimberly Page-Shafer
  • Juan Ruiz
  • Lisa Reyes
  • Viva Delgado
  • Jeffrey Klausner
  • Fred Molitor
  • Mitchell Katz
  • William McFarland


HIV risk was assessed in association with a history of incarceration and having a sexual partner with a history of incarceration in a population sample of low-income young women residing in San Francisco. Of the 235 women surveyed, 23% reported prior incarceration and 42% reported having a sexual partner with a history of incarceration. Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (including HIV) was no higher among previously incarcerated women or those with a sexual partner with a history of incarceration. Women with a prior incarceration were significantly more likely to report injecting drugs, exchanging sex for money or drugs, and history of forced sex. Women reporting sexual partners with a history of incarceration were significantly more likely to report incarceration history, history of STIs, and history of forced sex. Interventions aimed at reducing substance abuse, STIs, commercial/survival sex, and the effects of sexual coercion need to be strengthened for women within and transitioning out of correctional facilities.

HIV HIV risk incarceration sexually transmitted infection women 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allwright, S., Bradley, F., Long, J., Barry, J., Thornton, L., and Parry, J. V. (2000). Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV and risk factors in Irish prisoners: Results of a national cross sectional survey. British Medical Journal, 321, 78–82.Google Scholar
  2. Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (1999). Issue brief: The link between substance abuse and infectious disease in correctional settings, Washington, DC: author.Google Scholar
  3. Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (2000). Hepatitis C and incarcerated populations: The next wave for correctional health initiatives. Washington, DC: author.Google Scholar
  4. Bensley, L. S., Van Eenwyk, J., and Simmons, K. W. (2000). Self-reported childhood sexual and physical abuse and adult HIV risk behaviors and heavy drinking. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 18, 151–158.Google Scholar
  5. Bloom, B., Chesney Lind, M., and Owen, B. (1994). Women in California prisons: Hidden victims of the war on drugs. San Francisco: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.Google Scholar
  6. Bond, L., and Semaan, S. (1996). At risk for HIV infection: Incarcerated women in a county jail in Philadelphia. Women and Health, 24, 27–45.Google Scholar
  7. Boudin, K., Carrero, I., Clark, J., Flournoy, V., Loftin, K., Martindale, S., Martinez, M., Mastroieni, R. E., and Richardson, S. (1999). ACE: A peer education and counseling program meets the needs of incarcerated women with HIV/AIDS issues. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 10, 90–98.Google Scholar
  8. Braithwaite, R. L., Hammett, T. M., and Mayberry, R. M. (1996). Prisons and AIDS: A public health challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1998). Assessment of sexually transmitted diseases services in city and county jails-United States, 1997. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 47, 429–431.Google Scholar
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1999). High prevalence of chlamydial and gonococcal infection in women entering jails and juvenile detention centers-Chicago, Birmingham, and San Francisco, 1998. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 48, 793–796.Google Scholar
  11. Chance-McCullough, M. L., Tesoriero, J., Sorin, M., and Lee, C. (1993). Correlates of HIV seroprevalence among male New York State prison inmates: Results from the New York State AIDS institute criminal justice initiative. Journal of Prison and Jail Health, 12, 103–134.Google Scholar
  12. Comfort, M., Grinstead, O. A., Faigeles, B., and Zack, B. (2000). Reducing HIV risk among women visiting their incarcerated partners. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27, 57–71.Google Scholar
  13. Cotten-Oldenburg, N. U., Jordan, B. K., Martin, S. L., and Sadowski, L. S. (1999). Women inmates' risky sex and drug behaviors: Are they related? American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 25, 129–149.Google Scholar
  14. Dean-Gaitor, H. D., and Fleming, P. L. (1999). Epidemiology of AIDS in incarcerated persons in the United States, 1994-1996. AIDS, 13, 2429–2435.Google Scholar
  15. Glaser, J. B., and Greifinger, R. B. (1993). Correctional health care: A public health opportunity. Annals of Internal Medicine, 118, 139–145.Google Scholar
  16. Grinstead, O. A., Zack, B., and Faigeles, B. (1999). Collaborative research to prevent HIV among male prison inmates and their female partners. Health Education and Behavior, 26, 225–238.Google Scholar
  17. Henderson, D. J. (1998). Drug abuse and incarcerated women. A research review. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 15, 579–587.Google Scholar
  18. Holmberg, S. D., Stewart, J. A., Gerber, A. R., Byers, R. H., Lee, F. K., O'Malley, P. M., and Nahmias, J. (1988). Prior herpes simplex virus type 2 infection as a risk factor for HIV infection. Journal of American Medical Association, 259, 1048–1050.Google Scholar
  19. Kassira, E. N., Bauseman, R. L., Tomoyasu, N., Caldeira, E., Swetz, A., and Solomon, L. (2001). HIV and AIDS surveillance among inmates in Maryland prisons. Journal of Urban Health, 78, 256–263.Google Scholar
  20. Kent, C., Kohn, R., Klausner, J., and Goldenson, J. (1999). Limited screening at intake doubles Chlamydia trachomatis case detection in women at county jail. Presented at the XIII Meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research, July 11-14, 1999, Denver, CO.Google Scholar
  21. Kent, C., Snell, A., Kohn, R., Goldenson, J., and Klausner, J. (2000). Significant decline in chlamydia prevalence among women screened at San Francisco County Jail. Presented at the 2000 National STD Prevention Conference, December 4-7, 2000, Milwaukee, WI.Google Scholar
  22. Kim, A., McFarland,W., Kellogg, T., Kent, C., Kohn, R., Snell, A., Goldenson, J., Bordelon, K., and Sabin, K. (2000). Incidence and prevalence of HIV and STD among incarcerated persons upon intake: Implications for prevention and treatment. Presented at the XIII International AIDS Conference, July 1-6, 2000, Durban, South Africa.Google Scholar
  23. Mahon, N. (1996). New York inmates' HIV risk behaviors: The implications for prevention policy and programs. American Journal of Public Health, 86, 1211–1215.Google Scholar
  24. Miller, M. (1999). A model to explain the relationship between sexual abuse and HIV risk among women. AIDS Care, 11, 3–20.Google Scholar
  25. Miranda, A. E., Vargas, P. M., St. Louis, M. E., and Viana, M. (2000). Sexually transmitted diseases among female prisoners in Brazil: Prevalence and risk factors. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 27, 491–495.Google Scholar
  26. Molitor, F., Ruiz, J. D., Klausner, J. D., and McFarland, W. (2000). History of forced sex in association with drug use and sexual HIV risk behaviors, infection with STDs and diagnostic medical care. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15, 260–276.Google Scholar
  27. Mullings, J. L., Marquart, J. W., and Brewer, V. E. (2000). Assessing the relationship between child sexual abuse and marginal living conditions on HIV/AIDS-related risk behavior among women prisoners. Child Abuse and Neglect, 24, 677–688.Google Scholar
  28. Owen, B. (1998). In the mix: Struggle and survival in a women's prison. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  29. Page-Shafer, K., Kim, A., Norton, P., Rugg, D., Heitgerd, J., Katz, M. H., and McFarland, W. Evaluating national HIV prevention indicators: A case study in San Francisco. AIDS, 14, 2015–2026.Google Scholar
  30. Rich, J. D., Kickinson, B. P., Macalino, G., Flanigan, T. P., Towe, C. W., Spaulding, A., and Vlahov, D. (1999). Prevalence and incidence of HIV among incarcerated and reincarcerated women in Rhode Island. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 22, 161–166.Google Scholar
  31. Ruiz, J. D., Molitor, F., Sun, R. K., Mikanda, J., Facer, M., Colford, J. M., Rutherford, G. W., and Ascher, M. S. (1999). Prevalence and correlates of hepatitis C virus infection among inmates entering the California correctional system. Western Journal of Medicine, 170, 156–160.Google Scholar
  32. Ruiz, J. D., Molitor, F., McFarland, W., Klausner, J., Lemp, G., Page-Shafer, K., Parikh-Patel, A., Morrow, S., and Sun, R. K. (2000). Prevalence of HIV infection, sexually transmitted diseases, and hepatitis and related risk behavior in young women living in low-income neighborhoods of northern California. Western Journal of Medicine, 172, 368–373.Google Scholar
  33. Schacker, T., Ryncarz, A. J., Goddard, J., Kiem, K., Shaughnessy, M., and Corey, L. (1998). Frequent recovery of HIV-1 from genital herpes simplex virus lesions in HIV-1-infected men. Journal of American Medical Association, 280, 61–66.Google Scholar
  34. Schilling, R., El-Bassel, N., Ivanoff, A., Gilbert, L., Su, K. H., and Safyer, S. M. (1992). Sexual risk behavior of incarcerated, drug using women. Public Health Reports, 109, 539–547.Google Scholar
  35. Singer, M. I., Bussey, J., Song, L. Y., and Lunghofer, L. (1995). The psychosocial issues of women serving time in jail. Social Work, 40, 103–113.Google Scholar
  36. Taylor, S. D. (1996). Women offenders and reentry issues. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 28, 85–93.Google Scholar
  37. Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., and McClelland, G. M. (1996). Prevalence of psychiatric disorders among incarcerated women. I. Pretrial jail detainees. Archives of General Psychiatry, 53, 505–512.Google Scholar
  38. U. S. Department of Justice. (1999a). 1996-1997 Update:HIV/AIDS, STDs, and TB in correctional facilities (NCJ 176344). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  39. U.S. Department of Justice. (1999b). Women offenders (NCJ-175688). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  40. U.S. Department of Justice. (2001a). HIV in prisons and jails, 1999 (NCJ-18745). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  41. U.S. Department of Justice. (2001b). Prison and jail inmates at midyear 2000 (NCJ-185989).Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  42. Wellisch, J., Anglin, M. D., and Prendergast, M. L. (1993). Numbers and characteristics of drug-using women in the criminal justice system: Implications for treatment. Journal of Drug Issues, 23, 7–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Kim
    • 1
  • Kimberly Page-Shafer
    • 2
  • Juan Ruiz
    • 3
  • Lisa Reyes
    • 1
  • Viva Delgado
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Klausner
    • 1
  • Fred Molitor
    • 4
  • Mitchell Katz
    • 1
  • William McFarland
    • 1
  1. 1.San Francisco Department of Public HealthSan Francisco
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of California San Francisco, Center for AIDS Prevention StudiesSan Francisco
  3. 3.California Department of Health ServicesOffice of AIDSSacramento
  4. 4.ETR AssociatesSacramento

Personalised recommendations