The burden of HIV/AIDS and other transmissible diseases is higher in prison and jail settings than in the non-incarcerated communities that surround them. In a comprehensive review, Dr. Josiah Rich, professor of epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health, and colleagues, discuss available literature on the topic of clinical management of people infected with HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses, and tuberculosis in incarcerated settings in addition to co-occurrence of one or more of these infections. Methods such as screening practices and provision of treatment during detainment periods were reviewed to identify the effect of community-based treatment when returning inmates into the general population. They describe differences in the provision of medical care in the prison and jail settings of low-income and middle-income countries compared with high-income countries.
[Photo: Dr. Josiah Rich]
The review’s key messages are as follows:
The reviewers find that for prison-based health care to reach the same standards as those provided in the community, political will, as well as financial support in the range of tens of billions of dollars, will be needed, along with support from medical and humanitarian organizations across the globe. This is particularly true in low-income and middle-income countries.
This review was published in The Lancet on July 14.