Prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus among incarcerated people in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Objectives: Incarcerated people are at higher risk for HIV, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infections. This review systematically summarized the evidence on the prevalence of these infections among incarcerated people in Iran.

Study design: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: We searched Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, PsychInfo, Iranian databases, including IranMedex, Magiran, Scientific Information Database (SID), and IranDoc. A grey literature review was conducted to find unpublished reports from the Ministry of Health and experts throughout the country. Included studies reported data on the prevalence of HIV, HBV, or HCV infections. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed to estimate the pooled prevalence. A meta-regression analysis was also conducted.

Results: Of 1461 screened records, 23 records were eligible (total participants = 199,855). The pooled prevalence of HIV (17 studies), HBV (6 studies), and HCV (10 studies) was 2.77% (95% CI: 1.96, 3.70), 2.89% (95% CI: 2.28, 3.56), and 21.57% (95% CI: 13.62, 30.76), respectively. Meta-regression analyses showed that HIV (P-value = 0.05) and HCV (P-value = 0.02) were reduced over time using survey year as the interested variable in the model. Also, lifetime history of drug injection had a significant association with the HIV infection (P-value = 0.03).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the prevalences of these infections are relatively considerable among Iranian incarcerated people. These findings support developing interventions to reduce the risk of the acquisition and circulation of these infections among incarcerated people, and continued harm reduction programs among most at-risk incarcerated people, as well as HCV treatment.


Mehmandoost S, Khezri M, Mousavian G, Tavakoli F, Mehrabi F, Sharifi H, Dolan K, Shokoohi M




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Prisoners
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C


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