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    Prisons and AIDS.

    Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS [UNAIDS]

    Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 1997 Apr. 8 p. (UNAIDS Best Practice Collection; UNAIDS Technical Update)

    Both drug use and sexual contact between men are common in prisons around the world. Rates of HIV infection are also high in many prisons. General factors which can facilitate HIV transmission in prisons include overcrowding; a general climate of violence, tension, and fear; lack of information about HIV; and lack of adequate health facilities. Specific factors include the injection of drugs with shared, unsterilized needles and syringes; unprotected penetrative sex between men; and tattooing with shared, unsterilized equipment. Since prisons and prisoners are not completely cut off from the rest of the world, all possible steps should be taken to prevent HIV transmission in prisons for the benefit of both prisoners and the rest of society. Prisoners, prison staff, and visitors move in and out of prisons on a daily basis; many prisoners are incarcerated for only short periods; and others are repeat offenders who enter and exit the non-prison society on a regular basis. Providing discreet and easy access to condoms, and making sterile injection equipment available to prisoners are among the approaches recommended to help reduce the spread of HIV. One important, positive measure would be to transfer the delivery of health care in prisons to the control of public health authorities. Isolating prisoners because they are HIV-seropositive tends to not help reduce HIV transmission.
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