266977 Women on the Inside: Incarcerated U.S. Women and HIV/AIDS

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:00 PM - 5:15 PM

Stefanie Winston, JD, MPH , Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Candace K. Webb, MPH , Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (Kelly Contractor), Bethesda, MD
Kelly O'Bryant Wagner, BS , Tars, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Ryan Patrick, JD , Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Noah Kingery, BA , Hpla, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Incarcerated women in the United States face a high risk of being infected with HIV and other infectious diseases – either before entry or during incarceration. Female inmates comprise approximately 5-10% of the total U.S. prison population, have a higher HIV antibody seroprevalence than male prisoners (1.9% compared with 1.5%, respectively, in 2008), and are roughly 15 times more likely to be living with HIV than their non-incarcerated female counterparts. Women prisoners also have a higher prevalence of drug use compared to male prisoners and are more vulnerable to gender-based sexual violence and self-harm. Risky behaviors (e.g., injection drug use) place women prisoners at increased risk for HIV transmission while incarcerated. Unfortunately, health services designed for the unique needs of incarcerated women are grossly inadequate, both while imprisoned and upon reentry to the community. States have the authority to regulate women's health care in prisons. As such, in order to address the gender inequity in prison health, it is imperative for public health professionals to gain a better understanding of the unique issues and challenges surrounding the provision of quality correctional health services for women. This presentation will look at state laws that require serotesting before and during incarceration, or upon release. Relevant regulations will also be assessed that cover HIV serotesting in prisons and that uniquely impact imprisoned women's health and health care. Furthermore, an overview of key research findings on HIV among U.S. incarcerated women will be discussed as well as implications for public health programs and policies.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the HIV epidemiology and health status of incarcerated women in the United States. Explain state laws and regulations which address women’s health services in prisons and the importance of serotesting for women prisoners. Discuss the unique issues and challenges surrounding the provision of quality, effective health services for women prisoners and explore how the criminal justice system can be harnessed as a point of public health intervention.

Keywords: Women and HIV/AIDS, Correctional Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Work on public health policy
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4403.0: HIV/AIDS Policy