HIV/AIDS in Prison

Globally, 10 million people are held in penal institutions at any given time. The United States has the largest prison population by far, with 2.3 million people incarcerated in its federal and state prisons. In fact, nearly 25% of the world’s inmates are held in American prisons, followed by Russia, Rwanda, several countries in Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean. Individuals detained in prisons have already stood trial and are serving sentences of more than 1 year. Individuals incarcerated in prisons across the United States and globally are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This entry describes HIV in prisons, how HIV is transmitted, and HIV prevention activities.


In the United States, more than 2 million people are incarcerated in state and federal prisons. Racial and ...

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