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Incarceration history and risk of HIV and hepatitis C virus acquisition among people who inject drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Stone J, Fraser H, Lim AG, Walker JG, Ward Z, MacGregor L, Trickey A, Abbott S, Strathdee SA, Abramovitz D, Maher L, Iversen J, Bruneau J, Zang G, Garfein RS, Yen YF, Azim T, Mehta SH, Milloy MJ, Hellard ME, Sacks-Davis R, Dietze PM, Aitken C, Aladashvili M, Tsertsvadze T, Mravčík V, Alary M, Roy E, Smyrnov P, Sazonova Y, Young AM, Havens JR, Hope VD, Desai M, Heinsbroek E, Hutchinson SJ, Palmateer NE, McAuley A, Platt L, Martin NK, Altice FL, Hickman M, Vickerman P

  • Journal The Lancet. Infectious diseases

  • Published 29 Oct 2018

  • Volume 18

  • ISSUE 12

  • Pagination 1397-1409

  • DOI 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30469-9


People who inject drugs (PWID) experience a high prevalence of incarceration and might be at high risk of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection during or after incarceration. We aimed to assess whether incarceration history elevates HIV or HCV acquisition risk among PWID.

statistic and the P-value for heterogeneity.

=57·3%; p=0·002). Past incarceration was associated with a 25% increase in HIV (RR 1·25, 95% CI 0·94-1·65) and a 21% increase in HCV (1·21, 1·02-1·43) acquisition risk.

Incarceration is associated with substantial short-term increases in HIV and HCV acquisition risk among PWID and could be a significant driver of HCV and HIV transmission among PWID. These findings support the need for developing novel interventions to minimise the risk of HCV and HIV acquisition, including addressing structural risks associated with drug laws and excessive incarceration of PWID.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, National Institutes of Health.