Incarceration, sex with an STI- or HIV-infected partner, and infection with an STI or HIV in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY: a social network perspective

Am J Public Health. 2011 Jun;101(6):1110-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.184721. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Objectives: We examined the link between incarceration and sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV, from a social network perspective.

Methods: We used data collected during a social network study conducted in Brooklyn, NY (n = 343), to measure associations between incarceration and infection with herpes simplex virus-2, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis or HIV and sex with an infected partner, adjusting for characteristics of respondents and their sex partners.

Results: Infection with an STI or HIV was associated with incarceration of less than 1 year (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.33; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01, 1.76) and 1 year or longer (adjusted PR = 1.37; 95% CI = 1.08, 1.74). Sex in the past 3 months with an infected partner was associated with sex in the past 3 months with 1 partner (adjusted PR = 1.42; 95% CI = 1.12, 1.79) and with 2 or more partners (adjusted PR = 1.85; 95% CI = 1.43, 2.38) who had ever been incarcerated.

Conclusions: The results highlight the need for STI and HIV treatment and prevention for current and former prisoners and provide preliminary evidence to suggest that incarceration may influence STI and HIV, possibly because incarceration increases the risk of sex with infected partners.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission*
  • Social Support
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult