Southern States: HIV and STDs among Prisoners

Inmates in correctional facilities have higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections than the general population. State and local corrections, public health and community-based programs are helping inmates get tested and obtain treatment for HIV and other infections.  Five southern states have higher rates than the national average of inmates living with HIV infections. 

Incarceration is often the first time inmates’ infections are diagnosed, and treating their infections protects others in communities when inmates are released. About 10,000 or 1.4 percent of state inmates were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in the southern states in 2008, and over half of these were housed in Florida or Texas prisons (see table below).

To stop the spread of infections in communities, public and private organizations are joining forces to take action. State and local corrections, public health and community-based programs are helping inmates get tested and obtain treatment for HIV and other infections. Their efforts focus on testing, continuing treatment after release and educating prisoners on how to avoid transferring their infections to others. The programs aim to improve to the health of inmates, corrections facility staff as well as the inmates’ partners, family members and communities. Check these resources to learn more.

Capitol Research Brief: Addressing HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Prisoners.

Articles: State Initiatives Address HIV, Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Prisoners. Stateline Midwest; Correctional Health Care is Community Health Care. Capitol Ideas

 

State Inmates with HIV or AIDS, 2008

Jurisdiction

Number

Percent

Alabama

275

1.1

Arkansas

118

0.9

Florida

3,626

3.6

Georgia

961

1.8

Kentucky

131

0.9

Louisiana

458

2.2

Mississippi

246

1.4

Missouri

304

1.0

North Carolina

824

2.1

Oklahoma

139

0.6

South Carolina

409

1.7

Tennessee

188

1.0

Texas

2,450

1.5

Virginia

433

1.3

West Virginia

25

0.5

Southern States subtotal

10,587

1.4

All States subtotal

20,449

1.6

Federal

1,538

0.8

U.S. Total

21,987

1.5