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Rates of sexually transmitted disease are particularly high among prison populations. Consequently, when an inmate is released they may spread their infections to the general population. For these reasons, experts are urging prison systems to institute rigorous HIV testing programs to limit the occurrence of the disease.
Researchers recently wrote in the Journal of the International AIDS Society that many studies have shown the effectiveness of such approaches. While there are many strategies that prison systems can adopt, few are currently doing anything to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
In addition to providing more frequent HIV testing to prisoners, the researchers recommended that inmates be given access to better education, counseling, condoms and that the institutions improve measures to prevent rapes.
"The introduction of these programs in prisons is therefore warranted as part of comprehensive programs to address HIV in prisons," the researchers wrote in their report. "A large number of studies report high levels of risk behavior in prisons, and HIV transmission has been documented."
They added that taking steps to improve the humanitarian conditions in prisons may also help lower the transmission rates of the disease.
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