Reduced Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Persons With HIV After Release From the Criminal Justice System

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HIV prevalence is 3 times greater for those in the criminal justice system than the general population, with an assumed increase in sexual risk behaviors (SRBs) postrelease. HIV viral suppression impacts HIV transmission; however, studies of SRBs among persons with HIV leaving the criminal justice system are limited, and no studies have examined viral suppression in relation to SRBs in persons leaving the criminal justice system. Methods

Data were examined from 2 double-blind placebo-controlled trials of extended-release naltrexone among persons with HIV and alcohol use or opioid use disorder. Participants self-reported sexual activity, including number of sexual partners, sex type, and condom use. HIV viral suppression was evaluated prerelease and at 6 months. Results

Thirty days before incarceration, 60% reported having sex compared with 41% and 46%, respectively, at months 1 and 6 postrelease. The number of sex partners and sexual intercourse events decreased from pre-incarceration to months 1 and 6 postrelease. Condom use increased but was not statistically significant. Of the 11 (9.7%) who reported having sex without a condom 1 month postrelease, only 2 did not have viral suppression (VS; HIV VL <200 copies/mL), whereas the 7 (6.5%) who reported SRBs at 6 months all had VS. Conclusions

After release, SRBs decreased, and among those who reported SRBs, most were virally suppressed, and thus risk of transmitting HIV was low.


This research was funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (R01DA030762: Springer), and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01 AA018944: Springer) funding for career development was received from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (K02 DA032322: Springer).