RECENT FINDINGS: The prevalence of HIV and HCV are several-fold higher in the criminal justice system than within the broader community particularly in regions with high prevalence of injecting drug use, such as Asia, Eastern Europe and North America and where drug use is criminalized. Strategies to optimize management for these infections include routine screening linked to treatment within these settings and medication-assisted treatments for opioid dependence and access to syringe services programs. We build upon the 2016 WHO Consolidated Guidelines through the lens of the key populations of prisoners. Linkage to treatment postrelease, has been universally dismal, but is improved when linked to medication-assisted therapies like methadone, buprenorphine and overdose management. In many prisons, particularly in low-income and middle-income settings, provision of even basic healthcare including mental healthcare and basic HIV prevention tools remain suboptimal.
SUMMARY: In order to address HIV and HCV prevention and treatment within criminal justice settings, substantial improvement in the delivery of basic healthcare is needed in many prisons worldwide together with effective screening, treatment and linkage of treatment and prevention services to medication-assisted therapies within prison and linkage to care after release.
METHODS: Consented, full-time prison employees were interviewed using a structured questionnaire that included sociodemographic data, history of working in the correctional system and TB-related risk. TST was placed intradermally and read after 48-72 h. Induration size of ≥10 mm was considered positive. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to explore associations with TST positivity.
RESULTS: Of the 445 recruited prison employees, 420 (94.4%) had complete data. Most were young (median=30.0 years) men (88.8%) who had only worked at this prison (76.4%) for a median total employment period of 60 months (IQR 34.5-132.0). The majority were correctional officers, while civilian employees represented only 7.6% of the sample. Only 26 (6.2%) reported having ever been screened for TB since employment. Prevalence of TST positivity was 81% and was independently associated with longer (≥12 months) prison employment (AOR 4.9; 95% CI 1.5 to 15.9) and current tobacco smoking (AOR=1.9, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.2).
CONCLUSIONS: Latent TB prevalence was high in this sample, approximating that of prisoners in this setting, perhaps suggesting within prison TB transmission in this facility. Formal TB control programmes for personnel and prisoners alike are urgently needed within the Malaysian correctional system.
METHODS: From October 2012 to May 2013, prisoners housed in two distinct units (HIV-negative and HIV-positive) were approached to participate in the TB screening study. Consenting prisoners submitted two sputum samples that were examined using GeneXpert MTB/RIF, smear microscopy and liquid culture. Socio-demographic and clinical information was collected and correlates of active TB, defined as having either a positive GeneXpert MTB/RIF or culture results, were assessed using regression analyses.
RESULTS: Among the total of 559 prisoners, 442 (79.1%) had complete data; 28.7% were HIV-infected, 80.8% were men and the average age was 36.4 (SD 9.8) years. Overall, 34 (7.7%) had previously undiagnosed active TB, of whom 64.7% were unable to complete their TB treatment in prison due to insufficient time (<6 months) remaining in prison. Previously undiagnosed active TB was independently associated with older age groups (AOR 11.44 and 6.06 for age ≥ 50 and age 40-49 years, respectively) and with higher levels of immunosuppression (CD4 < 200 cells/ml) in HIV-infected prisoners (AOR 3.07, 95% CI 1.03-9.17).
CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of previously undiagnosed active TB in this prison highlights the inadequate performance of internationally recommended case-finding strategies and suggests that passive case-finding policies should be abandoned, especially in prison settings where HIV infection is prevalent. Moreover, partnerships between criminal justice and public health treatment systems are crucial to continue TB treatment after release.
METHODS: We conducted an analysis of policy documents and over 60 h of participant observation in February 2016, which included focus groups with a convenience sample of 20 therapeutic community staff members, 110 prisoners across three male and one female prisons, and qualitative interviews with two former Clean Zone participants. Field notes containing verbatim quotes from participants were analyzed through iterative reading and discussion to understand how participants generally perceive the program, barriers to entry and retention, and implications for future treatment within prisons.
RESULTS: Our analyses discerned three themes: pride in the mission of the Clean Zone, idealism regarding addiction treatment outcomes against all odds, and the demonization of methadone.
CONCLUSION: Despite low enrollment and lack of an evidence base, the therapeutic community is buttressed by the strong support of the prison administration and its clients as an "ordered" alternative to what is seen as chaotic life outside of the Clean Zone. The lack of services for Clean Zone patients after release likely contributes to high rates of relapse to drug use. The Clean Zone would benefit from integration of stabilized methadone patients combined with a post-release program.
RECENT FINDINGS: The design and scale-up of multidisciplinary care models that engage, retain, and treat individuals with HIV, HCV, and OUD are critical to preventing continued spread of HIV and HCV. We identified 17 models within primary care (N = 3), HIV specialty care (N = 5), opioid treatment programs (N = 6), transitional clinics (N = 2), and community-based harm reduction programs (N = 1), as well as two emerging models. Key components of such models are the provision of (1) medication-assisted treatment for OUD, (2) HIV and HCV treatment, (3) HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, and (4) behavioral health services. Research is needed to understand differences in effectiveness between co-located and fully integrated care, combat the deleterious racial and ethnic legacies of the "War on Drugs," and inform the delivery of psychiatric care. Increased access to harm reduction services is crucial.
METHODS: Five graph models were fit using data from 1574 people who inject drugs in Hartford, CT, USA. We used a degree-corrected stochastic block model, based on goodness-of-fit, to model networks of injection drug users. We simulated transmission of HCV and HIV through this network with varying levels of HCV treatment coverage (0%, 3%, 6%, 12%, or 24%) and varying baseline HCV prevalence in people who inject drugs (30%, 60%, 75%, or 85%). We compared the effectiveness of seven treatment-as-prevention strategies on reducing HCV prevalence over 10 years and 20 years versus no treatment. The strategies consisted of treatment assigned to either a randomly chosen individual who injects drugs or to an individual with the highest number of injection partners. Additional strategies explored the effects of treating either none, half, or all of the injection partners of the selected individual, as well as a strategy based on respondent-driven recruitment into treatment.
FINDINGS: Our model estimates show that at the highest baseline HCV prevalence in people who inject drugs (85%), expansion of treatment coverage does not substantially reduce HCV prevalence for any treatment-as-prevention strategy. However, when baseline HCV prevalence is 60% or lower, treating more than 120 (12%) individuals per 1000 people who inject drugs per year would probably eliminate HCV within 10 years. On average, assigning treatment randomly to individuals who inject drugs is better than targeting individuals with the most injection partners. Treatment-as-prevention strategies that treat additional network members are among the best performing strategies and can enhance less effective strategies that target the degree (ie, the highest number of injection partners) within the network.
INTERPRETATION: Successful HCV treatment as prevention should incorporate the baseline HCV prevalence and will achieve the greatest benefit when coverage is sufficiently expanded.
FUNDING: National Institute on Drug Abuse.
METHODS: Data were derived from a respondent-driven survey sample (RDS) collected during 2010 of 460 PWID in greater Kuala Lumpur. Analysis focused on socio-demographic, clinical, behavioural, and network information. Spatial probit models were developed based on a distinction between the influence of peers (individuals nominated through a recruitment network) and neighbours (residing a close distance to the individual). The models were expanded to account for the potential influence of the network formation.
RESULTS: Recruitment patterns of HIV-infected PWID clustered both spatially and across the recruitment networks. In addition, HIV-infected PWID were more likely to have peers and neighbours who inject with clean needles were HIV-infected and lived nearby (<5km), more likely to have been previously incarcerated, less likely to use clean needles (26.8% vs 53.0% of the reported injections, p<0.01), and have fewer recent injection partners (2.4 vs 5.4, p<0.01). The association between the HIV status of peers and neighbours remained significantly correlated even after controlling for unobserved variation related to network formation and sero-sorting.
CONCLUSION: The relationship between HIV status across networks and space in Kuala Lumpur underscores the importance of these factors for surveillance and prevention strategies, and this needs to be more closely integrated. RDS can be applied to identify injection network structures, and this provides an important mechanism for improving public health surveillance, accessing high-risk populations, and implementing risk-reduction interventions to slow HIV transmission.