Critical Issues in Corrections
February 18, 2013
In prisons across the country there are multiple challenges faced, one being HIV and AIDS. Inmates are often held in unsanitary conditions in which the HIV virus is spread through the use of non-sterile drug injection equipment, sexual contacts, tattooing and sharing of razors. America has the highest rate of HIV positive inmates in the world at about 1.5., and this is at the lowest it’s been. In previous years it was about 194 cases per 10,000 inmates. These issues are not just present in male prisons either. Drug-related crimes constitute the largest percentage of arrests, and most of these crimes ...view middle of the document...
Consensual or not the exchange in body fluids is another way to transmit HIV to another person. Non consensual sex can have higher risk to exposure due to tearing in bleeding. Due to condoms not being available to inmates since it can be considered contraband, and overcrowding in prisons makes it hard to stop inmates from such risky sexual behavior. As well as the well known issue of overcrowding in prisons makes it easier for sexual behavior to happen, violence is also common. Violence can contribute to the spreading of HIV if exposed to blood or other body fluids during a fight.
Tattooing also illegal to do in prisons is also very common for inmates to do in order to help pass the time. As well as inmates using unsterile equipment to shoot up drugs, inmates performing tattoos also have the same problem and use contaminated equipment. Sharing contaminated and improper equipment only poses another risk to spreading HIV among the prison populations.
Many former inmates may find themselves at an increased risk of contracting HIV once they leave prison, and those who are already infected often have difficulty finding sufficient medical and emotional resources on the outside. Finding resources once released is just a few of the challenges that inmates face, HIV progressively damages the body's immune system. This puts you at risk for developing illnesses you wouldn't otherwise get. At this time, doctors don't know of any way to rid the body of HIV. There is no cure. Once you've been infected, you have it for life. Inmates that catch HIV face challenges emotionally and physically. Women especially, who have less access to health care services in prisons than men do.
Inmates commonly are hesitant to be tested for HIV because they fear a positive diagnosis and because of the potential stigma involved. They often lack accurate information about HIV, including awareness of behaviors that may have put them at risk and knowledge of means for protecting themselves from becoming infected. Health care providers in correctional settings are in a key...