Jail Booking as an Occasion for HIV Care Reengagement: A Surveillance-Based Study

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To examine population and HIV care outcomes of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) at their first incarceration of 2014 in 2 county jails in King County, Washington.


Using HIV surveillance data linked with jail booking data, we examined demographic information, viral loads, CD4 counts, and incarceration details for the period prior to jail booking, during incarceration, and year following jail release.


In 2014, 202 PLWHA were incarcerated, 51% of whom were virally nonsuppressed at booking. This population represented approximately 3% of all HIV-diagnosed persons and 7% of virally nonsuppressed persons in King County. Within a year of release, 62% were virally suppressed, compared with 79% of the general HIV-diagnosed population in King County.


Incarcerated PLWHA are disproportionately virally nonsuppressed compared with nonincarcerated PLWHA up to a year after release from jail.

Public Health Implications

Coordination of health information exchange between the health department and jails could enhance public health efforts to improve the HIV care continuum.

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