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Number of HIV-Positive State and Federal Inmates Continues to Decline

April 22, 2008
-- About 44 percent of state inmates and 39 percent of federal inmates have medical problems

WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Between 2005 and 2006 the number of state and federal prisoners who were HIV-positive decreased 3.1 percent -- from 22,676 to 21,980 inmates, according to a report by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Another BJS report estimated that 44 percent of state inmates and 39 percent of federal inmates reported a current medical problem other than a cold or a virus.

Sixteen states and the federal system reported a decrease in the number of HIV-infected prisoners and 25 states reported an increase from 2005 through 2006. Texas, with 293 more HIV-positive inmates, reported the largest increase. New York with 440 fewer HIV-positive prisoners reported the largest drop.

On December 31, 2006, an estimated 5,977 inmates had confirmed AIDS, up from 5,620 in 2005. Confirmed AIDS cases accounted for more than a quarter of inmates known to be HIV positive.

At yearend 2006 the rate of confirmed AIDS in state and federal prisoners was more than 2 1/2 times higher than in the U.S. population. About 46 in 10,000 prison inmates were estimated to have confirmed AIDS, compared to 17 per 10,000 persons in the general population.

During 2006, the number of AIDS-related deaths in state and federal prisons totaled 167, down from 203 in 2005. In 2006, nearly 5 percent of state inmate deaths were attributable to AIDS, down from 34 percent in 1995.

At yearend 2006, 0.9 percent of federal inmates (1,530) were known to be HIV positive, down from 1,592 in 2005. Of the federal prisoners known to be HIV positive at yearend 2006, 656 had confirmed AIDS, up from 594 in 2005.

During 2006, 12 federal inmates died from AIDS-related causes, down from 27 in 2005. During 2006, the rate of death due to AIDS-related causes among federal prisoners was 6 per 100,000 inmates.

Current medical problems among prisoners include arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart problems, hypertension, kidney problems, liver problems, paralysis, problems due to a stroke, hepatitis, HIV, STDs, or tuberculosis. More than half of female inmates and over a third of male inmates reported a current medical problem in a national inmate survey.

Among inmates admitted to state and federal prisons, about an eighth reported having surgery, and half reported having a dental problem. A third of state inmates and 28 percent of federal inmates reported either an accidental injury or a fight-related injury since admission to prison.

More than a third (36 percent) of state inmates and nearly a quarter (24 percent) of federal inmates reported having an impairment, including a learning, speech, hearing, vision, mobility, or mental impairment.

More than half of state (51 percent) and federal inmates (56 percent) who were homeless in the year prior to arrest reported a current medical problem compared to 43 percent of state and 38 percent of federal inmates who were not homeless. Sixty percent of state inmates and 58 percent of federal inmates who used a needle to inject drugs reported a current medical problem compared to 40 percent state and 36 percent of federal who did not.

Among inmates who reported a medical problem, 70 percent of state inmates and 76 percent of federal inmates reported seeing a medical professional because of the problem. More than 8 in 10 inmates in state and federal prisons reported receiving a medical exam or a blood test since admission.

Among females in state prisons, 4 percent said they were pregnant at the time of admission; 3 percent of federal inmates were pregnant. Of those in state prisons who said they were pregnant at admission, 94 percent received an obstetric exam. More than half (54 percent) received some type of pregnancy care.

The reports, HIV in Prisons, 2006 (NCJ-222179), and Medical Problems of Prisoners (NCJ-221740) were written by BJS Statistician Laura M. Maruschak. Following publication, the reports can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/html/hivp/2006/hivp06.htm and http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/html/mpp/mpp.htm.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics' statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics - US Department of Justice

CONTACT: Stu Smith of the U.S. Department of Justice, +1-202-307-0784, +1-301-983-9354 (after hours)

Web Site: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs



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