HIV risk inside U.S. prisons: a systematic review of risk reduction interventions conducted in U.S. prisons

Pamela Valera, Yvonne Chang, Zi Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


HIV prevalence in correctional populations is approximately five times that of the general adult population. This systematic review examines the broad question of HIV prevention and interventions to reduce inmate HIV-related risk behaviors in U.S. federal and state prisons. We conducted a systematic review of multiple databases and Google Scholar to identify behavioral, biomedical, social, and policy studies related to HIV among U.S. prison populations from 1980–2014. Studies were excluded if they did not focus on HIV, prison inmates, if they were conducted outside of the U.S., if they involved juvenile offenders, or if they included post-release outcomes. Twenty-seven articles met the study criteria. Evidence suggests that research related to the HIV care continuum, risk behaviors, gender, prevention (e.g., peer education), and policy are key topics to enhance HIV prevention interventions in the criminal justice system. This review provides a prison-specific overview of HIV in U.S. correctional populations and highlight effective interventions, including inmate peer education. There is an urgent need to continue to implement HIV prevention interventions across all prisons and improve the quality of life among those at heightened risk of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-952
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • HIV
  • gender
  • prisons
  • systematic review


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