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AIDS Behav. 2013 Oct;17(8):2685-94. doi: 10.1007/s10461-011-9990-2.

HIV risk behaviors of male and female jail inmates prior to incarceration and one year post-release.

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Department of Psychology, George Mason University, MS 3f5, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA,


Individuals cycling in and out of the criminal justice system are at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. Most infections are contracted in the community, not during incarceration, but little is known about the profile of risk behaviors responsible for this elevated infection rate. This study investigated pre-incarceration and post-release HIV risk behaviors in a longitudinal study of 542 male and female inmates in a Northern Virginia jail. Although there was a significant decrease in risky behavior from pre-incarceration to post-incarceration, participants reported high levels of unprotected sexual activity and risky IV drug behaviors at both time points, emphasizing the need for prevention programming among this at-risk population. Gender differences in participants' pre-incarceration and post-release HIV risk behaviors suggest the need for gender-specific interventions to reduce overall HIV risk. Identifying specific HIV risk behaviors of jail inmates is vital to improve treatment and intervention efforts inside and outside of correctional settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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