THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Thursday, December 3, 2009

UNSHACKLE: HIV Testing In Jails.

Dear UNSHACKLE list members,

Below are summaries of two studies of HIV testing in jails, with links to the full text.

This information came to me via Robert Malow, who does an excellent service of sending comprehensive, digested information on recent published studies on HIV prevention. He can be reached at rmalow@bellsouth.net.

Very best,

Julie

Julie Davids

Co-Director
Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)
New York, NY / Providence, RI
www.champnetwork.org

(212) 937-7955 x 70 / (646) 431-7525 mobile

"When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science….We
should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of
infection among drug users.”
                   Barack Obama, Open letter to
                   LGBT Americans, November 2007


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Routine Opt-Out HIV Testing Strategies in a Female Jail Setting: A Prospective Controlled Trial

Ravi Kavasery, Duncan Smith-Rohrberg Maru, Joshua Cornman-Homonoff, Laurie N. Sylla, David Smith, Frederick L. Altice*

Yale University School of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

 PLoS ONE 4(11): e7648. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007648

Abstract 
Background
Ten million Americans enter jails annually. The objective was to evaluate new CDC guidelines for routine opt-out HIV testing and examine the optimal time to implement routine opt-out HIV testing among newly incarcerated jail detainees.

Methods
This prospective, controlled trial of routine opt-out HIV testing was conducted among 323 newly incarcerated female inmates in Connecticut's only women's jail. 323 sequential entrants to the women's jail over a five week period in August and September 2007 were assigned to be offered routine opt-out HIV testing at one of three points after incarceration: immediate (same day, n = 108), early (next day, n = 108), or delayed (7 days, n = 107). The primary outcome was the proportion of women in each group consenting to testing.

Results
Routine opt-out HIV testing was significantly highest (73%) among the early testing group compared to 55% for immediate and 50% for 7 days post-entry groups. Other factors significantly (p = 0.01) associated with being HIV tested were younger age and low likelihood of early release from jail based on bond value or type of charge for which women were arrested.

Conclusions
In this correctional facility, routine opt-out HIV testing in a jail setting was feasible, with highest rates of testing if performed the day after incarceration. Lower testing rates were seen with immediate testing, where there is a high prevalence of inability or unwillingness to test, and with delayed testing, where attrition from jail increases with each passing day.

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A Prospective Controlled Trial of Routine Opt-Out HIV Testing in a Men's Jail


Ravi Kavasery, Duncan Smith-Rohrberg Maru, Laurie N. Sylla, David Smith, Frederick L. Altice*

Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

PLoS ONE 4(11): e8056. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008056

Approximately 10 million Americans enter jails annually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends routine opt-out HIV testing in these settings. The logistics for performing routine opt-out HIV testing within jails, however, remain controversial. The objective of this study was to evaluate the optimal time to routinely HIV test newly incarcerated jail detainees using an opt-out strategy.

Methods
This prospective, controlled trial of routine opt-out HIV testing was conducted among 298 newly incarcerated male inmates in an urban men's jail in New Haven, Connecticut. 298 sequential entrants to the men's jail over a three week period in March and April 2008 were assigned to be offered routine opt-out HIV testing at one of three points after incarceration: immediate (same day, n = 103), early (next day, n = 98), or delayed (7 days, n = 97). The primary outcome was the proportion of men in each group consenting to testing.

Results
Routine opt-out HIV testing was significantly higher for the early (53%: AOR = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.5 to 4.7) and immediate (45%: AOR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.3 to 4.0) testing groups compared to the delayed (33%) testing group. The immediate and early testing groups, however, did not significantly differ (p = 0.67). In multivariate analyses, factors significantly associated with routine opt-out HIV testing were assignment to the ‘early’ testing group (p = 0.0003) and low (bond ≥$5,000, immigration or federal charges or pre-sentencing >30 days) likelihood of early release (p = 0.04). Two subjects received preliminary positive results and one of them was subsequently confirmed HIV seropositive.

Conclusions
In this men's jail where attrition was high, routine opt-out HIV testing was not only feasible, but resulted in the highest rates of HIV testing when performed within 24 hours of incarceration.
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Int J Public Health. 2009 Dec 1. [Epub ahead of print]

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