Cross-sectional assessment of tuberculosis and HIV prevalence in 13 correctional facilities in Zambia

BMJ Open. 2021 Sep 27;11(9):e052221. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-052221.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV in 13 Zambian correctional facilities.

Methods: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: 13 correctional facilities in seven of the 10 provinces in Zambia.

Participants: All incarcerated individuals were eligible for TB and HIV screening and testing. Of the total study population of 9695 individuals, which represent 46.2% of total correctional population at the beginning of the study, 8267 and 8160 were screened for TB and HIV, respectively.

Interventions: TB and HIV screening and testing was done between July 2018 and February 2019.

Primary outcome measures: All forms of TB, bacteriologically confirmed TB, drug-resistant TB, HIV.

Results: Prevalence of all forms of TB and bacteriologically confirmed TB was 1599 (1340-1894) per 100 000 population and 1056 (847-1301) per 100 000 population, respectively. Among those with bacteriologically confirmed TB, 4.6% (1.3%-11.4%) had drug-resistant TB.There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of all forms of TB, bacteriologically confirmed TB and drug resistant TB between adults and juveniles: (p=0.82), (p=0.23), (p=0.68) respectively. Of the bacteriologically confirmed TB cases, 28.7% were asymptomatic. The prevalence of HIV was 14.3% (13.6%-15.1%). The prevalence of HIV among females was 1.8 times the prevalence of HIV among males (p=0.01).

Conclusion: Compared with the study in 2011 which screened inmates representing 30% of the country's inmate population, then the prevalence of all forms of TB and HIV in correctional facilities has reduced by about 75% and 37.6%, respectively. However, compared with the general population, the prevalence of all forms of TB and HIV was 3.5 and 1.3 times higher, respectively. TB/HIV programmes in correctional facilities need further strengthening to include aspects of juvenile-specific TB programming and gender responsive HIV programming.

Keywords: HIV & AIDS; epidemiology; public health; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / epidemiology
  • Zambia / epidemiology