HIV Serostatus Affects Re-Arrest Rates of Ex-Prisoners
February 28, 2003
U.S. researchers contend that former prisoners are more likely to have further trouble with the law if they are infected with HIV. "Correctional facilities have become collection and containment centers for HIV-seropositive individuals," according to V.L. Harris and colleagues at the University of Washington. "This is due to factors that affect incarceration in general: past criminal behavior, age and crime type. In addition, the sex trade industry, intravenous drug use and community instability are likely factors affecting this particular population," they wrote.Adapted from:
Harris and coauthors conducted a study to "determine whether HIV-positive offenders have higher rates of re-arrest than HIV-negative offenders. A sample of HIV-positive offenders (n=57) were seen for mental health evaluation at the King County Correctional facility (KCCF) in Seattle, Washington."
The investigators compared the 57 offenders to "a historical sample (n=254) of HIV-negative individuals also from the KCCF," according to the report. "Using the log rank test in Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, statistical difference in the relative risk of rearrest occurred for the HIV-positive group (logrank = 0.03)."
Harris and colleagues noted that "statistical adjustment for mental illness, age, race, ethnicity, substance abuse history and past criminal history did not affect rearrest significantly."
The researchers concluded that "HIV-positive individuals who presented with mental health needs appeared to be significantly more vulnerable to rearrest after the first three months of release into the community."
The full report, "Rearrest: Does HIV Serostatus Make a Difference?" was published in AIDS Care -- Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV (2002;14(6):839-849).
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.