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October 24, 1986

Prevalence and Incidence of HTLV-III Infection in a Prison

Author Affiliations

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Washington, DC

JAMA. 1986;256(16):2198-2199. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380160056015

To the Editor.—  Although acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has been reported in prisons, the magnitude of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) infection in inmates is not well defined.1 The potential for intraprison transmission clearly exists if a reservoir of infection is present. A history of intravenous drug abuse has been documented by over 30% of inmates at several prisons.2,3 Among a sample of federal penitentiary inmates, 30% admitted to adult homosexual activity in a prison.4 We undertook to document the prevalence and incidence of HTLV-III infection in a maximum-security military prison.