Every year, around 30 million people are in prisons or other closed settings for a period of time and it is estimated that around 11 million people are incarcerated at any given time.
There are clinical tools are available to improve STD prevention, screening, and treatment in correctional facilities. However, more research and advocacy is needed to convince decision makers of the importance of committing the necessary resources and adopting the policies needed to close the gap between opportunity and reality in correctional STD programs.
The penal system remains a source of diseases that spread among prisoners at rates far exceeding those in the communities from which they came. Of more than 10 million incarcerated people in the U.S. alone, 4 percent have HIV, 15 percent have hepatitis C, and 3 percent have active tuberculosis.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), if taken consistently, reduces the risk for HIV transmission by up to 92% in high-risk populations, which includes inmates and adults under correctional supervision. Jail inmates reported a wide-range of medical problems, with arthritis as the most common (13%), followed by hypertension (11%), and asthma (10%) (table 2). Heart problems (6%), followed by kidney problems and tuberculosis (4%) were the next most frequently reported medical conditions.
Jails are breeding grounds for high concentrations of infectious disease, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). … Less than half of the jails offered comprehensive chlamydia testing and, among those jails, slightly more than half of the inmates who tested positive for chlamydia received treatment.
Provision of condoms
There is evidence that provision of condoms is feasible in a wide range of prison settings. No prison
system allowing condoms has reversed its policy,
and none has reported security problems or any
other major negative consequences.
Condoms should be made easily and discreetly
accessible to prisoners so that they can pick
them up at various locations in the prison, without having to ask for them and without being
seen by others
Prison systems should provide prisoners with
the option of living in a “drug-free” environment. However, there is currently no data on
the effectiveness of “drug-free” units as an
HIV prevention strategy. Therefore, evaluations
of their effectiveness in attracting and retaining
injecting drug users and in reducing drug injecting and needle sharing should be undertaken