Prisons are key points of contact with millions of individuals living with or at risk of HIV. Globally, an estimated 9 million people are incarcerated per year. Prisons form high risk settings due to
- Higher rates of HIV in prisons than in the community
- High prevalence of risk behaviours such as injecting drug use, sharing of injecting equipment and unprotected sexual activity
- Documented cases of HIV outbreaks in prisons, and
- High turnover of populations.
WHO published a comprehensive review of evidence on the effectiveness of HIV interventions in prisons in 2007. Universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care should also include access to such services by prisoners.