Incarceration is strongly associated with post-release STI/HIV risk. One pathway linking incarceration and STI/HIV risk may be incarceration-related dissolution of protective network ties. Among African American men released from prison who were in committed partnerships with women at the time of incarceration (N = 207), we measured the association between committed partnership dissolution during incarceration and STI/HIV risk in the 4 weeks after release. Over one-quarter (28%) experienced incarceration-related partnership dissolution. In adjusted analyses, incarceration-related partnership dissolution was strongly associated with post-release binge drinking (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.2, 95% confidence interval (CI); 1.4-15.5). Those who experienced incarceration-related partnership dissolution were much more likely to engage in multiple/concurrent partnerships or sex trade defined as buying or selling sex (64%) than those who returned to the partner (12%; AOR 20.1, 95% CI 3.4-175.6). Policies that promote maintenance of relationships during incarceration may be important for protecting health.
Keywords: African American; HIV; Incarceration; Partnerships; STI.