HIV treatment while incarcerated helped prisoners achieve viral suppression

March 31, 2014, The JAMA Network Journals

Treating inmates for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while they were incarcerated in Connecticut helped a majority of them achieve viral suppression by the time they were released.

Of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States, about one-sixth of them will be incarcerated annually, and HIV prevalence is three-fold greater in prisons compared with community settings.

The authors evaluated HIV treatment outcomes during incarceration by studying 882 HIV-infected prisoners with 1,185 incarceration periods in the Connecticut Department of Corrections (2005-2012). The were incarcerated for at least 90 days, had laboratory results regarding their infection, and were prescribed (ART). Most of the inmates were men with an average age of nearly 43 years. Almost half were black.

While 29.8 percent of inmates began their incarceration having already achieved (HIV viral load <400 copies/ml), 70 percent of the inmates achieved viral suppression before release. Viral suppression was attained regardless of age, race/ethnicity, duration of incarceration or type of ART regimen.

"Treatment for HIV within prison is facilitated by a highly structured environment and, when combined with simple well-tolerated ART regimens, can result in viral suppression during incarceration." Jaimie P. Meyer, M.D., of the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and colleagues wrote in their paper.

In a related commentary, Michael Puisis, D.O., a correctional consultant from Evanston, Ill., writes: "Unfortunately, the features of the excellent correctional care provided to HIV-infected persons in this Connecticut system are not available to all of the estimated 20,000 HIV-infected persons incarcerated in federal or state facilities."

"While the Connecticut study is a positive accomplishment, HIV care in correctional centers still needs improvement in several areas," Puisis continues.

"We should take fullest advantage of the incarceration period, when people can receive supervised treatment, to improve their health and to develop discharge plans that will maintain these benefits on the outside," Puisis concludes.

Explore further: Screening new inmates for HIV may not reveal many new undetected cases, study shows

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 31, 2014. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.601
JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 31, 2014. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.521

Related Stories

Screening new inmates for HIV may not reveal many new undetected cases, study shows

November 26, 2013
More than 90 percent of HIV-infected inmates entering prison in North Carolina had previously tested positive for the virus, according to a study published in the November 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

HIV-infected women experience worse treatment outcomes after release from jail

January 22, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A Yale study has uncovered significant gender differences in the treatment outcomes of HIV-infected jail detainees who are transitioning to life outside jail, with women faring much worse than men. The ...

Only 1 in 3 HIV-infected black Americans gets effective treatment: study

February 6, 2014
(HealthDay)—Even though drugs that can keep HIV at bay are available, only about one in three black Americans with the AIDS-causing virus have their infection under control, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

Study details age disparities in HIV continuum of care

June 17, 2013
Age disparities exist in the continuum of care for patients with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with people younger than 45 years less likely to be aware of their infection or to have a suppressed viral load, according ...

US reports rare case of woman-to-woman HIV transmission (Update)

March 13, 2014
A rare case of suspected HIV transmission from one woman to another was reported Thursday by US health authorities.

Recommended for you

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

January 8, 2018
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which—in their view—remains woefully ...

Researchers find clues to AIDS resistance in sooty mangabey genome

January 3, 2018
Peaceful co-existence, rather than war: that's how sooty mangabeys, a monkey species found in West Africa, handle infection by SIV, a relative of HIV, and avoid developing AIDS-like disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.