Odds of HIV among incarcerated drug users: A systematic review and meta-analysis of Asian countries



HIV makes up a large portion of infectious diseases globally. People injecting drugs in prisons are at high risk for contracting HIV infection. Prisons house ~10.2 million people globally, making them a high-risk setting for HIV transmission. This systematic review summarizes the available data on the odds of developing HIV infection among imprisoned people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in Asian regions.


The authors electronically assessed published studies from January, 2000 to December, 2022, including studies that investigated the odds of HIV in imprisoned PWIDs. We extensively searched PubMed, ERIC, and Cochrane Central and Google Scholar with no constraints in language or time. All the observational studies evaluating the chances of HIV in Asian prisoners with an exposure group of PWIDs and a control group of non-injecting-drug users were included in our analysis.


The databases search yielded 254 potential studies, 10 observational studies of which having a total of 17 333 participants were included. A low or moderate risk of bias was reported in all the studies except one case-control. The pooled analysis showed a significant association between PWIDs and the chances of contracting HIV infection (Odds ratio=6.40; 95% CI=3.89–10.52; P<0.00001; I2=53%).


This study found a vital correlation between injecting-drug usage during imprisonment and HIV transmission speed. The results of this meta-analysis support the need to prevent HIV and conducting treatment programs in high-risk settings like prisons.


Hussain HU, Kumar KA, Rehan ST, Khan Z, Hashmi MR, Khabir Y, Fatir CA, Tahir MJ, Ahmed A, Shrateh ON, Huda MN




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • People who use drugs
    • Prisoners
    • General HIV- population
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs


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