Prevalence and Incidence of HIV, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Infections Among Males in Rhode Island Prisons

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We evaluated prevalence and intraprison incidence of HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus infections among male prison inmates.


We observed intake prevalence for 4269 sentenced inmates at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute between 1998 and 2000 and incidence among 446 continuously incarcerated inmates (incarcerated for 12 months or more).


HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus prevalences were 1.8%, 20.2%, and 23.1%, respectively. Infections were significantly associated with injection drug use (odds ratio = 10.1, 7.9, and 32.4). Incidence per 100 person-years was 0 for HIV, 2.7 for HBV, and 0.4 for HCV.


High infection prevalence among inmates represents a significant community health issue. General disease prevention efforts must include prevention within correctional facilities. The high observed intraprison incidence of HBV underscores the need to vaccinate prison populations.

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