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[Comment] Prisoners, prisons, and HIV: time for reform

Prisoners and detainees worldwide have higher burdens of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis than the communities from which they come. This disease burden among prisoners has been recognised since the early years of these inter-related pandemics.1 Yet the health needs of prisoners receive little attention from researchers or advocates working to improve responses for these diseases, and scant funding for prevention or treatment interventions. This Lancet Series on HIV and related infections in prisoners1–6 shows that the reasons for this neglect include the very factors that make prisoners and detainees vulnerable to infection and unable to get treatment: unjust and inappropriate laws; underfunded and overcrowded prisons with large numbers of individuals in lengthy pre-trial detention; policing practices that lead to imprisonment with compulsory drug detention centres that provide no evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and inadequate health care; and discriminatory criminal justice systems.

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