Global burden of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis in prisoners and detainees. Academic Article uri icon


  • The prison setting presents not only challenges, but also opportunities, for the prevention and treatment of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis. We did a comprehensive literature search of data published between 2005 and 2015 to understand the global epidemiology of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and tuberculosis in prisoners. We further modelled the contribution of imprisonment and the potential impact of prevention interventions on HIV transmission in this population. Of the estimated 102 million people incarcerated worldwide on any given day in 2014, we estimated that 38% have HIV (389000 living with HIV), 151% have HCV (1546500), 48% have chronic HBV (491500), and 28% have active tuberculosis (286000). The few studies on incidence suggest that intraprison transmission is generally low, except for large-scale outbreaks. Our model indicates that decreasing the incarceration rate in people who inject drugs and providing opioid agonist therapy could reduce the burden of HIV in this population. The prevalence of HIV, HCV, HBV, and tuberculosis is higher in prison populations than in the general population, mainly because of the criminalisation of drug use and the detention of people who use drugs. The most effective way of controlling these infections in prisoners and the broader community is to reduce the incarceration of people who inject drugs.

published proceedings

  • Lancet

altmetric score

  • 195.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Dolan, K., Wirtz, A. L., Moazen, B., Ndeffo-Mbah, M., Galvani, A., Kinner, S. A., ... Altice, F. L.

citation count

  • 436

complete list of authors

  • Dolan, Kate||Wirtz, Andrea L||Moazen, Babak||Ndeffo-Mbah, Martial||Galvani, Alison||Kinner, Stuart A||Courtney, Ryan||McKee, Martin||Amon, Joseph J||Maher, Lisa||Hellard, Margaret||Beyrer, Chris||Altice, Fredrick L

publication date

  • September 2016