Establishment of an HIV/sexually transmitted disease programme and prevalence of infection among incarcerated men in Jamaica

Int J STD AIDS. 2010 Feb;21(2):114-9. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.008416.


The goal of this study is to describe the establishment of an HIV testing and treatment programme in the Jamaican correctional system and to estimate the prevalence of HIV/sexually transmitted disease (STD) among adult incarcerated men in this country. A demonstration project was implemented by the Jamaican Department of Correctional Services and Ministry of Health in the nation's largest correctional centre. All inmates were offered HIV and syphilis testing, and a subset was offered chlamydia, gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis testing. Cross-sectional data from the project were reviewed to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV/STD. HIV test acceptance was 63% for voluntary testers (n = 1200). The prevalence of HIV was 3.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.33-4.64) (n = 1017) and the prevalence syphilis was 0.7% (95% CI 0.29-1.49) (n = 967). Among the subset tested (n = 396) the prevalence of chlamydia was 2.5% (95% CI 1.22-4.49) and for trichomoniasis it was 1.8% (95% CI 0.01-3.60), but no cases of gonorrhoea were detected (n = 396). The prevalence of HIV was significantly higher at 25% (95% CI 13.64-39.60) for persons located in a separate section where individuals labelled as men who have sex with men (MSM) are separated. HIV/STD testing is important and feasible in Jamaica. A special focus should be placed on providing services to inmates labelled as MSM. Other Caribbean nations may also benefit from similar programmes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Government Programs / organization & administration*
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / therapy
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Jamaica / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prisoners*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy