Rapid HIV testing in correctional facilities


Key take-home messages
  • HIV rates are particularly high in correctional settings. In the U.S., HIV prevalence is five times higher in state and federal correctional systems than in the general population.
  • In Canada, HIV prevalence is also higher among persons in prison than in the general population. In 2006, 1.64% of people in Canadian federal prisons were reported to be HIV positive vs. 0.3% in the general adult population.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advocates for voluntary and routine testing in all correctional settings and suggests that testing be conducted through opt-out rather than opt-in procedures.
  • As a result of many prisoners leaving jail before standard HIV test results can be given or follow-up blood work can be collected, rapid testing in correctional facilities should be used.
  • The CDC recommends: conventional blood testing or rapid testing with conventional confirmation in prisons and rapid testing with conventional confirmation in jails.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • Prisoners
  • Testing
    • Testing


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