Prevalence and Incidence of HIV, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus
Infections Among Males in Rhode Island Prisons
CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
American Journal of Public Health (07.04); Vol. 94; No. 7: P.
1218-1223::Grace E. Macalino, PhD; David Vlahov, PhD; Stephanie
Sanford-Colby, MPH; Sarju Patel, MSc; Keith Sabin, PhD; Christopher Salas,
BS; Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH
The authors evaluated prevalence and intraprison incidence of HIV,
hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among male
prison inmates in Rhode Island. They observed intake prevalence for 4,269
sentenced inmates at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute between
1998-2000 and incidence among 446 continuously incarcerated inmates who had
been in prison for 12 months or more.
The researchers found that HIV, HBV and HCV prevalences were 1.8
percent, 20.2 percent and 23.1 percent respectively, and that infections
were significantly associated with injection drug use. Incidence per 100
person-years was 0 for HIV, 2.7 for HBV and 0.4 for HCV.
"Our data and that of other studies suggest that activities to prevent
transmission of hepatitis in a correctional setting are important for both
inmates and correctional staff," the authors noted. "Although our data
suggest that concerns about prisons serving as an amplifying reservoir for
HIV and HCV might be overstated, these data are indicative of significant
ongoing HBV transmission."
"Offering hepatitis B vaccination in prisons must be a public health
priority," the researchers concluded, "given the impact of infected
individuals on the incarcerated population and, beyond the prison walls, on
the transmission of HIV, HBV, and HCV in the communities to which inmates