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Gaps between HIV/AIDS Policies and Treatment in Correctional Facilities

JHHSA, Vol. 24 No. 2, (2001)

In this article the authors examined correctional policy and its impact on the incidence of HIV/AIDS in prison population. Using data from the Florida Correctional System, they find that HIV/AIDS is still the leading cause of death. Improved treatment and care may have led to declines in AIDS-related mortality but the prison population continues to experience a much higher risk of mortality than the general population in spite of changes in the treatment and provision of care to infected patients. The dominance of HIV-related deaths indicates that treatment and voluntary testing policy have been ineffective. The authors argue that the persistence of HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths is largely attributable to continuing unequal distribution of health care resources between identified and unidentified HIV-infected inmates. Their analysis suggests that future changes in HIV/AIDS policy in testing and treatment can contribute to improvement in health conditions of infected inmates.

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