METHODS: We linked pharmacy, custodial, death, case management, and HIV surveillance data from Connecticut Departments of Correction and Public Health to create a retrospective cohort of all adults with HIV released from jails and prisons in Connecticut between 2007 and 2014. We compared the mortality rate of adults with HIV released from incarceration with the general US and Connecticut populations, and modelled time-to-death from any cause after prison release with Cox proportional hazard models.
FINDINGS: We identified 1350 people with HIV who were released after 24 h or more of incarceration between 2007 and 2014, of whom 184 (14%) died after index release; median age was 45 years (IQR 39-50) and median follow-up was 5·2 years (IQR 3·0-6·7) after index release. The crude mortality rate for people with HIV released from incarceration was 2868 deaths per 100 000 person-years, and the standardised mortality ratio showed that mortality was higher for this cohort than the general US population (6·97, 95% CI 5·96-7·97) and population of Connecticut (8·47, 7·25-9·69). Primary cause of death was reported for 170 individuals; the most common causes were HIV/AIDS (78 [46%]), drug overdose (26 [15%]), liver disease (17 [10%]), cardiovascular disease (16 [9%]), and accidental injury or suicide (13 [8%]). Black race (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0·52, 95% CI 0·34-0·80), having health insurance (0·09, 0·05-0·17), being re-incarcerated at least once for 365 days or longer (0·41, 0·22-0·76), and having a high percentage of re-incarcerations in which antiretroviral therapy was prescribed (0·08, 0·03-0·21) were protective against mortality. Positive predictors of time-to-death were age (≥50 years; adjusted HR 3·65, 95% CI 1·21-11·08), lower CD4 count (200-499 cells per μL, 2·54, 1·50-4·31; <200 cells per μL, 3·44, 1·90-6·20), a high number of comorbidities (1·86, 95% CI 1·23-2·82), virological failure (2·76, 1·94-3·92), and unmonitored viral load (2·13, 1·09-4·18).
INTERPRETATION: To reduce mortality after release from incarceration in people with HIV, resources are needed to identify and treat HIV, in addition to medical comorbidities, psychiatric disorders, and substance use disorders, during and following incarceration. Policies that reduce incarceration and support integrated systems of care between prisons and communities could have a substantial effect on the survival of people with HIV.
FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health.
METHODS: To create a retrospective cohort of all adults with HIV released from jails and prisons in Connecticut, USA (2007-14), we linked administrative custody and pharmacy databases with mandatory HIV/AIDS surveillance monitoring and case management data. We examined time to LTC (defined as first viral load measurement after release) and viral suppression at LTC. We used generalised estimating equations to show predictors of LTC within 14 days and 30 days of release.
FINDINGS: Among 3302 incarceration periods for 1350 individuals between 2007 and 2014, 672 (21%) of 3181 periods had LTC within 14 days of release, 1042 (34%) of 3064 had LTC within 30 days of release, and 301 (29%) of 1042 had detectable viral loads at LTC. Factors positively associated with LTC within 14 days of release are intermediate (31-364 days) incarceration duration (adjusted odds ratio 1·52; 95% CI 1·19-1·95), and transitional case management (1·65; 1·36-1·99), receipt of antiretroviral therapy during incarceration (1·39; 1·11-1·74), and two or more medical comorbidities (1·86; 1·48-2·36). Reincarceration (0·70; 0·56-0·88) and conditional release (0·62; 0·50-0·78) were negatively associated with LTC within 14 days. Hispanic ethnicity, bonded release, and psychiatric comorbidity were also associated with LTC within 30 days but reincarceration was not.
INTERPRETATION: LTC after release is suboptimal but improves when inmates' medical, psychiatric, and case management needs are identified and addressed before release. People who are rapidly cycling through jail facilities are particularly vulnerable to missed linkage opportunities. The use of integrated programmes to align justice and health-care goals has great potential to improve long-term HIV treatment outcomes.
FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health.
METHODS: A randomly sampled, nationwide biobehavioural health survey was conducted in 8 prisons in Kyrgyzstan among all soon-to-be-released prisoners; women were oversampled. Consented participants underwent computer-assisted, standardized behavioural health assessment surveys and testing for HIV, HCV, HBV, and syphilis. Prevalence and means were computed, and generalized linear modelling was conducted, with all analyses using weights to account for disproportionate sampling by strata.
RESULTS: Among 381 prisoners who underwent consent procedures, 368 (96.6%) were enrolled in the study. Women were significantly older than men (40.6 vs. 36.5; p=0.004). Weighted prevalence (%), with confidence interval (CI), for each infection was high: HCV (49.7%; CI: 44.8-54.6%), syphilis (19.2%; CI: 15.1-23.5%), HIV (10.3%; CI: 6.9-13.8%), and HBV (6.2%; CI: 3.6-8.9%). Among the 31 people with HIV, 46.5% were aware of being HIV-infected. Men, compared to women, were significantly more likely to have injected drugs (38.3% vs.16.0%; p=0.001). Pre-incarceration and within-prison drug injection, primarily of opioids, was 35.4% and 30.8%, respectively. Independent correlates of HIV infection included lifetime drug injection (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=38.75; p=0.001), mean number of years injecting (AOR=0.93; p=0.018), mean number of days experiencing drug problems (AOR=1.09; p=0.025), increasing duration of imprisonment (AOR=1.08; p=0.02 for each year) and having syphilis (AOR=3.51; p=0.003), while being female (AOR=3.06; p=0.004) and being a recidivist offender (AOR=2.67; p=0.008) were independently correlated with syphilis infection.
CONCLUSION: Drug injection, syphilis co-infection, and exposure to increased risk during incarceration are likely to be important contributors to HIV transmission among prisoners in Kyrgyzstan. Compared to the community, HIV is concentrated 34-fold higher in prisoners. A high proportion of undiagnosed syphilis and HIV infections presents a significant gap in the HIV care continuum. Findings highlight the critical importance of evidence-based responses within prison, including enhanced testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, to stem the evolving HIV epidemic in the region.
METHODS: In a nationally representative cross-sectional study, soon-to-be released prisoners in Kyrgyzstan (N=368) and Azerbaijan (N=510) completed standardized health assessment surveys. After identifying correlated variables through bivariate testing, we built multi-group path models with pre-incarceration official and unofficial detention as exogenous variables and pre-incarceration composite HIV risk as an endogenous variable, controlling for potential confounders and estimating indirect effects.
RESULTS: Overall, 463 (51%) prisoners reported at least one detention in the year before incarceration with an average of 1.3 detentions in that period. Unofficial detentions (13%) were less common than official detentions (41%). Optimal model fit was achieved (X (2)=5.83, p=0.44; Goodness of Fit Index (GFI) GFI=0.99; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) CFI=1.00; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) RMSEA=0.00; PCLOSE=0.98) when unofficial detention had an indirect effect on HIV risk, mediated by drug addiction severity, with more detentions associated with higher addiction severity, which in turn correlated with increased HIV risk. The final model explained 35% of the variance in the outcome. The effect was maintained for both countries, but stronger for Kyrgyzstan. The model also holds for Kyrgyzstan using unique data on within-prison drug injection as the outcome, which was frequent in prisoners there.
CONCLUSIONS: Detention by police is a strong correlate of addiction severity, which mediates its effect on HIV risk behaviour. This pattern suggests that police may target drug users and that such harassment may result in an increase in HIV risk-taking behaviours, primarily because of the continued drug use within prisons. These findings highlight the important negative role that police play in the HIV epidemic response and point to the urgent need for interventions to reduce police harassment, in parallel with interventions to reduce HIV transmission within and outside of prison.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: This is a retrospective cohort study of all adult people living with HIV (PLWH) incarcerated in Connecticut, US, during the period January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2011, and observed through December 31, 2014 (n = 1,094). Most cohort participants were unmarried (83.7%) men (77.0%) who were black or Hispanic (78.1%) and acquired HIV from injection drug use (72.6%). Prison-based pharmacy and custody databases were linked with community HIV surveillance monitoring and case management databases. Post-release RIC declined steadily over 3 years of follow-up (67.2% retained for year 1, 51.3% retained for years 1-2, and 42.5% retained for years 1-3). Compared with individuals who were not re-incarcerated, individuals who were re-incarcerated were more likely to meet RIC criteria (48% versus 34%; p < 0.001) but less likely to have VS (72% versus 81%; p = 0.048). Using multivariable logistic regression models (individual-level analysis for 1,001 individuals after excluding 93 deaths), both sustained RIC and VS at 3 years post-release were independently associated with older age (RIC: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.22-2.12; VS: AOR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.06-1.78), having health insurance (RIC: AOR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.60-2.89; VS: AOR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.53-2.64), and receiving an increased number of transitional case management visits. The same factors were significant when we assessed RIC and VS outcomes in each 6-month period using generalized estimating equations (for 1,094 individuals contributing 6,227 6-month periods prior to death or censoring). Additionally, receipt of antiretroviral therapy during incarceration (RIC: AOR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.07-1.65; VS: AOR = 1.91, 95% CI = 1.56-2.34), early linkage to care post-release (RIC: AOR = 2.64, 95% CI = 2.03-3.43; VS: AOR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.45-2.21), and absolute time and proportion of follow-up time spent re-incarcerated were highly correlated with better treatment outcomes. Limited data were available on changes over time in injection drug use or other substance use disorders, psychiatric disorders, or housing status.
CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of CJ-involved PLWH with a 3-year post-release evaluation, RIC diminished significantly over time, but was associated with HIV care during incarceration, health insurance, case management services, and early linkage to care post-release. While re-incarceration and conditional release provide opportunities to engage in care, reducing recidivism and supporting community-based RIC efforts are key to improving longitudinal treatment outcomes among CJ-involved PLWH.