Age-specific global prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and tuberculosis among incarcerated people: A systematic review


PURPOSE: This study aims to compare the global prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and tuberculosis in incarcerated adolescents and young adults (AYAs) and older prisoners. METHODS: This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting the age-specific prevalence of each infection in prisoners. We grouped age-specific prevalence estimates into three overlapping age categories: AYA prisoners (<25 years), older prisoners (>/=25 years), and mixed category (spanning age 25 years). We used random effects meta-analysis to estimate the relative risk (RR) of each infection in AYAs versus older prisoners. RESULTS: Among 72 studies, there was marked heterogeneity in prevalence estimates among AYA prisoners for all infections: hepatitis B (.4%-25.2%), hepatitis C (.0%-70.6%), HIV (.0%-15.8%), and active tuberculosis (.0%-3.7%). The pooled prevalence of HIV (RR = .39, 95% confidence interval .29-.53, I(2) = 79.2%) and hepatitis C (RR = .51, 95% confidence interval .33-.78, I(2) = 97.8%) was lower in AYAs than in older prisoners. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C is lower in AYA prisoners than in older prisoners. Despite lower prevalence, acquisition begins early among incarcerated populations. There is an urgent need for targeted, age-appropriate prevention, treatment, and harm reduction measures in and beyond custodial settings to reduce the incidence of infection in these extremely vulnerable young people


Kinner SA, Snow K, Wirtz AL, Altice FL, Beyrer C, Dolan K




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • Prisoners


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