Screening for sexually transmitted diseases and hepatitis in 18–29-year-old men recently released from prison: feasibility and acceptability


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Abstract

Men entering prisons have high rates of sexually transmitted disease (STD), hepatitis, and HIV. This study sought to determine the acceptability and feasibility of screening for STD and hepatitis in young men released from prison. Participants were interviewed six months after release and offered free screening. Of 42 (56%) eligible men who participated in the qualitative interview, 33 (79%) provided at least a blood or urine specimen. Eight of 33 (24%) men tested had chlamydia, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B or C virus (HBV or HCV). Three of 32 (9%) had chlamydia, three of 32 (9%) had trichomoniasis, two of 28 (7%) had prior syphilis, and two of 28 (7%) had HCV. Of 28 tested for HBV, six (21%) were immune, two (7%) had chronic infection, and 20 (71%) were susceptible. Barriers to screening included lack of forewarning, inconvenience, and insufficient incentive. In conclusion, screening for STD and hepatitis among former inmates can be acceptable and feasible. Forewarning, reducing the time burden, and providing monetary incentives may increase screening rates.

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