Coordinating the prevention, treatment, and care continuum for HIV-associated tuberculosis in prisons: a health systems strengthening approach

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2018 Nov;13(6):492-500. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000505.


Purpose of review: To advance a re-conceptualized prevention, treatment, and care continuum (PTCC) for HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) in prisons, and to make recommendations for strengthening prison health systems and reducing HIV-associated TB morbidity and mortality throughout the cycle of pretrial detention, incarceration, and release.

Recent findings: Despite evidence of increased HIV-associated TB burden in prisons compared to the general population, prisoners face entrenched barriers to accessing anti-TB therapy, antiretroviral therapy, and evidence-based HIV and TB prevention. New approaches, suitable for the complexities of healthcare delivery in prisons, have emerged that may address these barriers, and include: novel TB diagnostics, universal test and treat for HIV, medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence, comprehensive transitional case management, and peer navigation, among others.

Summary: Realizing ambitious international HIV and TB targets in prisons will only be possible by first addressing the root causes of the TB/HIV syndemic, which are deeply intertwined with human rights violations and weaknesses in prison health systems, and, second, fundamentally re-organizing HIV and TB services around a coordinated PTCC. Taking these steps can help ensure universal access to comprehensive, good-quality, free and voluntary TB/HIV prevention, treatment, and care, and advance efforts to strengthen health resourcing, staffing, information management, and primary care access within prisons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / physiology
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data
  • Prisons / statistics & numerical data
  • Tuberculosis / complications
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis / prevention & control


  • Antitubercular Agents