RESEARCH ARTICLE


HIV and Risk Behaviors Among Visitors of Inmates at the Great Tehran Prison, Iran, 2018



Zeinab Najafi1, Saeede Shekarbeigi1, Hamid Emadi Koochak1, Behnam Farhoudi2, SeyedAhmad SeyedAlinaghi1, *, Ali Mirzazadeh3
1 Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Social Determinant of Health Research Center, Amir-Almomenin Hospital, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
3 University of California, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States


© 2020 Najafi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Tel: +98 (21) 66947984; E-mail: s_a_alinaghi@yahoo.com


Abstract

Objectives:

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.

Methods:

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

Results:

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).

Conclusion:

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.