Occurrence and correlates of HIV and hepatitis B/C virus infections among prisoners of Southern Lazio, Italy
the jails of Southern Latium (Italy).
Methods. Design: Cross-sectional study. Participants and Setting: Clinical charts of 2653 prisoners, of whom 940 were of the jail of Cassino, 1581 of the jail of Frosinone and 132 of that of Latina, since 1995 to 1999, were reviewed. Measurement: number of people tested for HIV, HCV and HBV infection and prevalence of diagnosed HIV, HCV and HBV infections.
Results. HCV was the most prevalent infection (28.2 %); HBV showed a lower prevalence (26%). Finally,
5.4% of inmates were infected by HIV. Multivariate regression analysis indicated drug addiction, civil status,
smoking habit, age (age group 25-34 and 35-44, in respect with people aged 18-24) and Italian nationality
as factors mainly associated to HBV, HCV and HIV infection. In particular we found HIV infection associated
with the status of drug addiction (OR = 15.8), civil status (OR = 12.6 for widowers; and OR = 2.44 for
cohabitants), smoking habits (OR = 3.09) and Italian nationality (OR = 5.39). Similar risk estimates were
found for HCV and HBV.
Conclusion. High prevalence of blood transmitted infections in jails suggests that diagnostic and preventive
measures, as hepatitis B vaccination, but also information and education programs for inmates, are needed
to reduce the spreading of such infections, particularly HIV and HCV.
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