To End The HIV Epidemic, Implement Proven HIV Prevention Strategies In The Criminal Justice System

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Health Affairs Blog on 5/26/2021 by Daniel Teixeira da Silva, Chethan Bachireddy

Criminal justice-involved populations are disproportionately affected by HIV. In the US, one in seven people living with HIV leaves a correctional facility each year. Marginalized populations are at increased risk of both HIV infection and incarceration, and this dual risk is amplified among communities of color.

The 2021–2025 HIV National Strategic Plan—released in January 2021 by the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—recognizes the overarching impact of the criminal justice system on the HIV epidemic and includes objectives to increase the capacity of correctional settings to diagnose and treat HIV. However, the plan overlooks the role of HIV prevention strategies within correctional settings. Two such evidence-based strategies—medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—are the focus of this blog post.