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Keywords

Academic-Practitioner Collaboration; Ex-convicts; HIV; HIV-positive persons; Incarceration; Prisoners; Recidivism

Abstract

It is estimated that about one quarter of all HIV-infected individuals in the United States are released from a correctional facility each year. To better understand the needs of inmates with HIV exiting the prison system, a partnership with the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD), the Nevada Department of Corrections (DOC), and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Public Health was formed to examine this population using information contained in existing databases. An analysis of DOC data matched with the data from the HIV/AIDS Reporting System (HARS) maintained by the NSHD identified 2,802 HIV-negative inmates (2,451 males and 350 females) and 44 HIV-positive inmates (33 males and 11 females) who exited prison in 2001. Results showed that HIV-positive inmates released in Nevada were more likely than HIV negative inmates to be African American, have a prior felony, and be re-incarcerated in a three-year follow-up period. For male and female participants living with AIDS, almost one-third had never received antiretroviral therapy. The cyclical pattern of re-incarceration among HIV-positive inmates in Nevada provides an opportunity to reach this population with medical care, infectious disease prevention, and social services. Future analyses with more complete data hold even more promise for understanding the needs of incarcerated individuals living with HIV in Nevada and directing public health interventions.