Journal of Prison and Jail Health Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Dated: (Winter 1993) Pages: 103-134
The incidence of AIDS and the rate of HIV infection in New York's correctional system is the highest in the United States, and AIDS is also the leading cause of death among male prison inmates.
In response to the high incidence of AIDS, the AIDS Institute and the New York State Department of Correctional Services introduced the Criminal Justice Initiative. Teams of counselors from the AIDS Institute began offering educational programs and confidential pretest counseling, voluntary HIV antibody testing, and posttest counseling to inmates in early 1990. Data were obtained on 4,151 male inmates who received counseling and testing services between April 1990 and June 1992. HIV seroprevalence rates in the voluntary counseling and testing program were about half those found in blinded studies of infection among New York inmates. Logistic regression results indicated that several demographic and behavioral variables significantly increased the likelihood that an inmate would test positive for HIV. One-third of all positive test results were generated from 5 percent of inmates identified as high risk. Intravenous drug use was the most important predictor of HIV seropositivity, with users being 3.5 times more likely to test positive than nonusers. Minorities exhibited a high risk of testing positive, even after controlling for other risk factors. Reception center inmates had higher seropositivity rates than inmates in maximum-security institutions. The typical inmate needed AIDS education and testing. Supplemental information on the coding of study variables is appended. 33 references, 5 endnotes, and 5 tables
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