Letters

Management of prisoners with HIV infection

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7306.230/a (Published 28 July 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:230

Prevention would be better than care

  1. A J Ashworth, clinical research fellow
  1. Forth Valley Community Alcohol and Drug Service, Bannockburn Hospital, Stirling FK7 8AH
  2. Mortimer Market Centre, London WC1E 6AU

    EDITOR—Edwards et al point out that the main cause of HIV in prisoners is injecting drug use.1 Work done in Scottish prisons indicates that 4% of the male prison population have continued their previous community injecting practices and 8% of male prisoners start injecting in prison. 2 3

    Measures for reducing viral transmission in the community, such as needle exchange, are not available in British prisons. It is possible, therefore, that many of the prisoners referred internally had contracted HIV by sharing injecting equipment while incarcerated. The recommendation by Edwards et al that HIV status should be confirmed in all prisoners should therefore be qualified with a recommended frequency. …

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