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Health Agencies Update
November 24, 2010

Inmates With HIV

JAMA. 2010;304(20):2232. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1685

A 5-year initiative will aim to help reduce the spread of HIV by seeking, testing, and treating prison and jail inmates. The nearly $50 million effort is being funded primarily by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with additional funds provided by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Rates of infection with HIV/AIDS are disproportionately higher among inmates of state and federal prisons and jails than in the general population. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1.5% of male inmates and 1.9% of female inmates were HIV positive or had a confirmed case of AIDS—about 3 to 4 times the prevalence in the general US population (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/hivp08.pdf). Yet many inmates go untested and untreated.

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