Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

New Report Cites Higher Rates of HIV Infection Among Inmates

The virus that causes AIDS may be more common among prison and jail inmates, especially women, than previously thought, according to a new study based on testing of nearly 11,000 inmates entering 10 prisons and jails between mid-1988 and mid-1989. The study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, found that rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection ranged from 2.1 percent to 7.6 percent for male inmates, and 2.5 percent to 14.7 percent among females.

A variety of earlier studies have indicated HIV infection rates as high as 17.4 percent among inmates from the New York City area, but far lower rates elsewhere. The names of the prisons and jails in the new study were not released, but they were said to represent all areas of the country. The findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

At nine of the 10 correctional facilities, women had higher rates of HIV infection than men. The difference was greatest among prisoners under age 25, with 5.2 percent of women in that age group testing positive, compared to 2.3 percent of the men. Minority groups also had higher rates of infection: 4.8 percent overall, compared to 2.5 percent of white inmates. No major difference in HIV infection rates was found between prisons and jails.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login