Public health implications for adequate transitional care for HIV-infected prisoners: five essential components

Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Sep;53(5):469-79. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir446.


In the United States, 10 million inmates are released every year, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) prevalence is several-fold greater in criminal justice populations than in the community. Few effective linkage-to-the-community programs are currently available for prisoners infected with HIV. As a result, combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is seldom continued after release, and virological and immunological outcomes worsen. Poor HIV treatment outcomes result from a myriad of obstacles that released prisoners face upon reentering the community, including homelessness, lack of medical insurance, relapse to drug and alcohol use, and mental illness. This article will focus on 5 distinct factors that contribute significantly to treatment outcomes for released prisoners infected with HIV and have profound individual and public health implications: (1) adaptation of case management services to facilitate linkage to care; (2) continuity of cART; (3) treatment of substance use disorders; (4) continuity of mental illness treatment; and (5) reducing HIV-associated risk-taking behaviors as part of secondary prevention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Case Management
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Prisoners*
  • Prisons / organization & administration
  • Public Health Administration
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-HIV Agents