nmates inside Jamaican prisons are contacting HIV at an alarming rate, far outpacing the rate of the island’s general population.
Health experts are both worried and concerned that when many of these inmates leave prison they might end up having sxual relationships with women that have no idea that these ex-cons are HIV positive.
The study was conducted by the National Family Planning Board (NFPB) and focused on inmates who were incarcerated for more than six months in three male adult correctional facilities and one female facility. The study shows that 6.9 percent of these inmates were HIV positive which is more than 3 times higher than the national average of 1.9 percent. In simple terms, for every 100 inmates that serve six or more months in a Jamaican prison, almost 7 of them are HIV positive. On the other hand, for every 100 Jamaican, less than 2 are HIV positive.
The St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre had the highest rate of HIV positive inmates while the Tower Street facility came in second.
The study also showed that inmates at these facilities have a high rate of syphilis at 4.5 percent.
The only groups in Jamaica that have a higher percent HIV rate than male prison inmates are transgender women and gay men.