The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of HIV and risk behaviors among the inmates’ visitors at the Great Tehran Prison in 2018.This population is more likely to be infected with HIV due to their relationship with inmates. However, they have not been prioritized to the other populations in comparison to inmates who are usually prioritized over others.


Using a time location sampling (TLS) bio-behavioral survey, we recruited inmates’ visitors at the Great Tehran Prison in 2018. An anonymous questionnaire collected information on the participant’s demographic characteristics, relationship with inmate, imprisonment history, drug-related risk behaviors, and HIV-related risk behaviors.Rapid HIV blood test detected HIV positive people. To examine the association between risk behaviors and HIV infection, we used a multivariate logistic regression model to calculate the adjusted Odds Ratio (OR)(adjusted Odds ratio of 23.140, 95% CI OR: 1.994–268.5).1


1131 visitors were asked to participate in the study; out of which 1120 consented (99%).Out of the 1120 participants, 55.2% were female, and the majority (72.4%) aged older than 35 years. Of those who had a sexual partner, 50% did not usea condom in the last 6 months. Overall, HIV prevalence was 0.4% in the inmate visitors, but it was significantly higher among those with a history of drug injection(p=0.003).


Our findings indicated that overall the HIV prevalence is low among inmates’ visitors; higher than general population. Subgroups with a history of injection have high HIV prevalence which needs to be prioritized for HIV screening and treatment.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Inmate visitors, Prison, Risk behaviors, Demographic characteristics.
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