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Med J Aust. 1999 Jul 5;171(1):14-7.

HIV transmission in a prison system in an Australian State.

Author information

1
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney. ndarc8@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate possible HIV transmission among prison inmates.

SETTING:

A prison system in an Australian State.

PARTICIPANTS:

13 ex-prisoners and their prison contacts.

METHODS:

Ex-prisoners who claimed to have been infected with HIV in prison and their prison contacts were interviewed about HIV risk behaviour. Entries in prison and community medical records were used by a three-member expert panel to establish the likelihood of primary HIV infection and its possible timing and location.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Determination of whether HIV infection probably occurred in prison.

RESULTS:

There was a very high probability that at least four of 13 ex-prisoners investigated acquired HIV in prison from shared injection equipment. Another two ex-prisoners most probably acquired HIV infection outside prison. The location of infection for the remaining seven could not be determined.

CONCLUSIONS:

HIV transmission in prison has substantial public health implications as most drug-using prisoners soon return to the community. HIV prevention strategies known to be effective in community settings, such as methadone maintenance treatment and syringe exchange schemes, should be considered for prisoners.

Comment in

PMID:
10451665
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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