Majority of Ex-Inmates in Texas Delay HIV Treatment, Study Finds
February 25, 2009
A majority of HIV-positive prison inmates in Texas do not fill their prescriptions in an appropriate amount of time after release, creating a threat to public health, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Houston Chronicle reports. According to researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, Baylor College of Medicine, and other universities in Texas and other states, the study is the first to track people living with HIV from prison release to care on the outside. Researchers studied 2,115 inmates living with HIV in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system between 2004 and 2007. They found that 5.4% filled their prescriptions within 10 days of release, while 15.5% did so within 30 days and 30% within 60 days (Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, 2/24). According to the researchers, 90% or more of the inmates did not fill a prescription soon enough to avoid interruptions in their treatment regimens. The study also found that black and Hispanic inmates were 60% less likely than white inmates to fill a prescription within 10 days of release, and 30% less likely to do so within 30 days, according to Reuters.
An abstract of the study is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.