Almost from the beginning of the HIV epidemic in 1981, an association with tuberculosis (TB) was recognized. This association between HIV and TB co-infection has been particularly evident amongst prisoners. However, despite this, few studies of TB in prisons have stratified results by HIV status. Given the high prevalence of HIV-positive persons and TB-infected persons in prisons and the documented risk of TB in those infected with HIV, it is of interest to determine how co-infection varies amongst prison populations worldwide. For this reason we have undertaken a systematic review of studies of co-infected prisoners to determine the incidence and/or prevalence of HIV/TB co-infection in prisons, as well as outcomes in this group, measured as treatment success or death.

24th March 2017 • comment

Despite global reductions in HIV incidence and mortality, the 15 UNAIDS-designated countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 constitute the only region where both continue to rise. HIV transmission in EECA is fuelled primarily by injection of opioids, with harsh criminalisation of drug use that has resulted in extraordinarily high levels of incarceration. Consequently, people who inject drugs, including those with HIV, hepatitis C virus, and tuberculosis, are concentrated within prisons. Evidence-based primary and secondary prevention of HIV using opioid agonist therapies such as methadone and buprenorphine is available in prisons in only a handful of EECA countries (methadone or buprenorphine in five countries and needle and syringe programmes in three countries), with none of them meeting recommended coverage levels. Similarly, antiretroviral therapy coverage, especially among people who inject drugs, is markedly under-scaled. Russia completely bans opioid agonist therapies and does not support needle and syringe programmes—with neither available in prisons—despite the country's high incarceration rate and having the largest burden of people with HIV who inject drugs in the region.

17th September 2016 • comment

The prison setting presents not only challenges, but also opportunities, for the prevention and treatment of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis. We did a comprehensive literature search of data published between 2005 and 2015 to understand the global epidemiology of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and tuberculosis in prisoners. We further modelled the contribution of imprisonment and the potential impact of prevention interventions on HIV transmission in this population. Of the estimated 10·2 million people incarcerated worldwide on any given day in 2014, we estimated that 3·8% have HIV (389 000 living with HIV), 15·1% have HCV (1 546 500), 4·8% have chronic HBV (491 500), and 2·8% have active tuberculosis (286 000). The few studies on incidence suggest that intraprison transmission is generally low, except for large-sc

10th September 2016 • comment

The prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and tuberculosis are higher in prisons than in the general population in most countries worldwide. Prisons have emerged as a risk environment for these infections to be further concentrated, amplified, and then transmitted to the community after prisoners are released. In the absence of alternatives to incarceration, prisons and detention facilities could be leveraged to promote primary and secondary prevention strategies for these infections to improve prisoners health and reduce risk throughout 

10th September 2016 • comment

SETTING: We conducted a systematic review of literatures on the prevalence and incidence of latent tuberculosis infection in correctional settings, with the aim of offering one of the resources to guide establishment of policies on screening for and treating LTBI among prisoners in Japan. OBJECTIVE: Using the keywords "latent tuberculosis AND (prison OR jail OR correctional)" and "tuberculosis infection AND (prison OR jail OR correctional)", we conducted a systematic review of relevant literatures on PubMed and secondary searches from the reference list of primary sources. We limited our search to those original articles published since 1980, and in English.

1st April 2016 • comment

The prison setting has been often cited as a possible reservoir of tuberculosis (TB) including multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB. This is particularly true in low-income, high TB prevalence countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. A systemic literature review was done to assess the prevalence, drug resistance and risk factors for acquiring TB in the prison population. Our review indicated a high prevalence of TB in prisons which is reported to be 3- to 1000-fold higher than that found in the civilian population, indicating evidence and the need for public health policy formulation. In addition, high levels of MDR and extensively drug-resistant (XDR)-TB have been reported from prisons, which is a warning call to review prison TB control strategy. Multiple risk factors such as overcrowding, poor ventilation, malnutrition, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and others have fuelled the spread of TB in prisons.    

1st November 2014 • comment

High prevalence of HIV infection and the over-representation of injecting drug users (IDUs) in prisons combined with HIV risk behaviour create a crucial public-health issue for correctional institutions and, at a broader level, the communities in which they are situated. However, data relevant to this problem are limited and difficult to access. We reviewed imprisonment, HIV prevalence, and the proportion of prisoners who are IDUs in 152 low-income and middle-income countries. Information on imprisonment was obtained for 142 countries. Imprisonment rates ranged from 23 per 100 000 population in Burkina Faso to 532 per 100 000 in Belarus and Russia. Information on HIV prevalence in prisons was found for 75 countries.

1st January 2007 • comment