HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases among correctional inmates: transmission, burden, and an appropriate response

Am J Public Health. 2006 Jun;96(6):974-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.066993. Epub 2006 Jan 31.


Correctional inmates engage in drug-related and sexual risk behaviors, and the transmission of HIV, hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases occurs in correctional facilities. However, there is uncertainty about the extent of transmission, and hyperbolic descriptions of its extent may further stigmatize inmates and elicit punitive responses. Whether infection was acquired within or outside correctional facilities, the prevalence of HIV and other infectious diseases is much higher among inmates than among those in the general community, and the burden of disease among inmates and releasees is disproportionately heavy. A comprehensive response is needed, including voluntary counseling and testing on request that is linked to high-quality treatment, disease prevention education, substance abuse treatment, and discharge planning and transitional programs for releasees.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Mandatory Testing
  • Prevalence
  • Prisoners / psychology
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data
  • Prisons*
  • Public Health Administration / trends*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • United States