AIDS Treatment News logo      

December 7, 2009

Tuberculosis and HIV within prisons skyrocketing, a public health threat

"Overcrowding, low access to health care, lack of political will and the prominence of high-risk populations among prisoners all contribute to a “perfect storm” for HIV and TB infection among prison populations worldwide, researchers announced at the 40th Union World Conference on Lung Health this Saturday in Cancun, Mexico.

"Dr. Fabienne Hariga of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and UNAIDS’ Dr. Alasdair Reid both highlighted dismal health statistics for those behind bars. According to Hariga, up to 65% of some prison populations are infected with HIV.

"Adding to this, says Reid, TB rates in prisons are up to fifty times higher than in the general population. Increased rates are found in prisoners who have served longer sentences, tying TB acquisition with prison time. Prisoners are also more likely to die from TB and/or default from treatment than non-incarcerated populations."

Read more in Aidsmap, December 7, 2009.