Global View of HIV Prevalence in Prisons: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Mehdi SAYYAH Education Development Center (EDC), Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
  • Fakher RAHIM Research Center of Thalassemia & Hemoglobinopathy, Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
  • Gholam Abbas KAYEDANI Health Research Institute, Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran 2-Department of Virology, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
  • Kiarash SHIRBANDI Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Expert Group (SRMEG), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Ahvaz, Iran
  • Amal SAKI-MALEHI Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Keywords: HIV, Global, Systematic review, Meta-analysis, Prevalence, Prisoners


Background: We aimed to estimate the global prevalence of HIV, as well as cross-countries comparison in people who are in prison. Methods: We systematically assessed published studies reporting HIV prevalence among prisoners in the world. We searched international datasets banks, including PubMed, SCOPUS, Cumulative Index to Nursing and ISI web of science along with local databases and included original articles reporting data on the prevalence of HIV from 1980 to 2017. Results: We included 72 studies that reported HIV prevalence for 2,275,930 adult male and female prisoners. The pooled estimate of HIV prevalence was 3.4% (95% CI 3.2%-3.6%); however, the prevalence of HIV across individual studies varied considerably (ranging from 0 in Bosnia and Herzegovina to More than 20% in Iran, Zambia, Spain) and statistical heterogeneity was substantial (I2=0.99, Q=121; P<0.0001). The prevalence of HIV among prisoners in the continents Asia, Africa, North America and Europe was estimated as 3.0% (95% CI 3.3%-4.3 %), 6% (95% CI -0.0%–2.0%), 4% (95% CI 3.0%-4.0%), 5.0% (95% CI 0.0%–11%), respectively. Conclusion: Protecting prisoners’ health protects general public health. Successful HIV preventive measures in prisons include provision of HIV education and information; clean needles and syringes; drug treatment; and condoms. Governments have a moral and ethical obligation to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in prisons and to provide compassionate care, treatment and support for those infected.  


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How to Cite
SAYYAH M, RAHIM F, KAYEDANI GA, SHIRBANDI K, SAKI-MALEHI A. Global View of HIV Prevalence in Prisons: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iran J Public Health. 48(2):217-226.
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