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Free to Live Well with HIV in Prison

HIV environment in Italy

Prisons are high-risk environments for transmission of HIV, due to issues such as limited access to health care, continued drug use, unprotected sex and tattooing.1 This is exacerbated by overcrowding and insufficient prison healthcare resources, and inmates with HIV often face stigma and discrimination. There is also a need to improve HIV education, both amongst inmates and prison staff.

Estimates of HIV prevalence in Italian prisons vary from 2.5 to 7.5 percent.2 It is estimated that 1 in 3 inmates with HIV are not aware of their status. HIV testing is not carried out as routine upon admittance and treatment options are not always available.

Key Facts

  1. HIV in prisons (2017) Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/communicable-diseases/hivaids/policy/policy-guidance-for-key-populations-most-at-risk2/hiv-in-prisons (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
  2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Thematic report: Prisoners. Monitoring implementation of the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia: 2012 Progress Report. Stockholm: ECDC; 2013.