Letters

Infections and risk factors in entrants to Irish prisons

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7341.850 (Published 06 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:850

High prevalence of viral and other sexually transmitted diseases was found in Indian prisons

  1. Sarman Singh, head. (ssingh56@hotmail.com)
  1. Clinical Microbiology Division, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029, India
  2. Copperbelt University, PO Box 21692, Kitwe, Zambia cbumed@zamnet.zm

    EDITOR—Long et al report a high prevalence of viral and other sexually transmitted diseases in Irish prisons and conclude that use of injecting drugs could be the single most important factor for the high infection with hepatitis C virus there.1 They suggest that increased infection control and harm reduction measures are needed in Irish prisons. But they fail to acknowledge other, similar reports, particularly from the countries where HIV infection is highly epidemic.

    I and colleagues from the Indian subcontinent conducted a study in 1998 among Indian prisoners.2 Altogether 240 male and nine female prison inmates in a district prison near Delhi were screened for sexually transmitted and bloodborne diseases including HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C viral infections. The inmates were aged 15-50 (mean (SD) 24.8 (0.11)). Of the 240 male prisoners, 115 were married and 184 gave a history of penetrative sex. Of the 184, 53 were homosexual or bisexual …

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