Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Sub-Department

Epidemiology

First Advisor

Burch, Jim

Abstract

In the last decade, the HIV/AIDS epidemic in correctional facilities has received increased attention and been identified as a growing public health concern. While the prevalence of HIV infection is greater among men (73%) in the general population, the opposite remains true among incarcerated individuals. In the US and in most jurisdictions, HIV prevalence in the correctional setting is higher among female inmates when compared to males. This dichotomy is not fully understood and few studies have focused on women in the South. The studies presented in this dissertation explored the implications of previous incarceration on a cohort of HIV-infected women in South Carolina. Investigators hypothesized that adverse health outcomes were more frequent among HIV-positive women in South Carolina without a history of criminal justice involvement when compared to HIV positive women with a history of criminal justice involvement. This hypothesis is substantiated by the fact that all inmates are tested upon entry into prison, incarcerated individuals are guaranteed access to medical care and correctional facilities provide opportunities for HIV prevention and intervention initiatives.

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