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Get out of jail, but keep taking your meds.

If the experiences of a small sample of HIV-infected individuals in San Francisco jails are any indication, interventions are needed to ensure that once inmates are released, they adhere to prescribed medical regimens. (1) For all 177 inmates in the sample, the current incarceration was at least the second within a year; at the time of their previous release, those known to have HIV infection had been linked to a program that would provide up to five months of HIV-related services, and those taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) had been given a week's supply of their medications and a prescription for a month's refill. However, in the month preceding their rein-carceration, 59% of those who were on HAART had not taken their drugs, and 52% of those who had taken them had missed two or more doses a week. Other findings pointing to a need for postrelease interventions were low use of available services and substantial levels of unprotected sex and other risky behaviors. According to the researchers, interventions that begin during incarceration and continue after release "are critical to improving health outcomes for inmates who are HIV infected and preventing further HIV transmission in the community."

(1.) Clements-Nolle K et al., Highly active antiretroviral therapy use and HIV transmission risk behaviors among individuals who are HIV infected and were recently released from jail, American Journal of Public Health, 2008, 98(4):661-666.
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Title Annotation:FYI
Publication:Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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