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Exploring HIV infection in a UK vulnerable prisoner population in response to newly identified cases

Exploring HIV infection in a UK vulnerable prisoner population in response to newly identified cases Prison populations are considered at elevated risk of blood borne virus (BBV) transmission. Between December 2015 and February 2016, four new cases of HIV infection were diagnosed across two male vulnerable prisoner (VP) custodial units in Wales, UK. Cases were identified through routine BBV testing. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachAs a result of identifying four new HIV cases, targeted BBV testing across the VP units using dried blood spot testing for HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and Hepatitis B was undertaken.FindingsA total of 617 men were offered testing, 256 (41 per cent) were tested. No further cases of HIV were identified. Eight men were identified as HCV antibody positive. There was no evidence to suggest the four original cases of HIV were linked.Practical implicationsEmbedding universal BBV screening within prison health provision will ensure timely identification of cases. Further research is needed to better understand BBV transmission risks within subsets of the prison population such as the VP and sex offending groups.Originality/valueLittle is known about the prevalence of BBVs in vulnerable prison populations. The findings add to the knowledge available for practitioners in the field. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

Exploring HIV infection in a UK vulnerable prisoner population in response to newly identified cases

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1108/ijph-03-2018-0010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Prison populations are considered at elevated risk of blood borne virus (BBV) transmission. Between December 2015 and February 2016, four new cases of HIV infection were diagnosed across two male vulnerable prisoner (VP) custodial units in Wales, UK. Cases were identified through routine BBV testing. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachAs a result of identifying four new HIV cases, targeted BBV testing across the VP units using dried blood spot testing for HIV, Hepatitis C (HCV) and Hepatitis B was undertaken.FindingsA total of 617 men were offered testing, 256 (41 per cent) were tested. No further cases of HIV were identified. Eight men were identified as HCV antibody positive. There was no evidence to suggest the four original cases of HIV were linked.Practical implicationsEmbedding universal BBV screening within prison health provision will ensure timely identification of cases. Further research is needed to better understand BBV transmission risks within subsets of the prison population such as the VP and sex offending groups.Originality/valueLittle is known about the prevalence of BBVs in vulnerable prison populations. The findings add to the knowledge available for practitioners in the field.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 22, 2019

Keywords: HIV; Health in prison; Blood-borne viral infections; Hepatitis C

References