HIV risk and prevention behaviors among Prison Inmates in Georgia, 2012

By 2012 there were 23 000 prisoners in the Georgian penitentiary system. Georgia had one of the highest in the world prison population rate per 100,000.

The main reason for imprisonment in Georgia is drug-related crime. The majority of prisoners are arrested for repeated use of drugs or for
keeping them in small amounts. Despite the fact that conditions in the prisons have improved over the last years, still the situation remains very hard. Prisons areconsidered as endemic areas for diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV infection, and hepatitis B and C. According to various data, risk behaviors such as sharing syringes, needles and other injecting equipment are widespread in prisons. Testing for blood-borne infections in prisons started in 2005 with wide expansion since 2008. By 2012, there were about 6000 prisoners tested annually.

This study represents the subsequent wave of Bio-BSS undertaken among prisoner population. The first Bio-BSS was conducted in 2008
using the SRS technique and managed to recruit 211 prisoners in total. The objective of the 2012 Bio-BSS was to measure the prevalence of HIV and Syphilis among prisoners, to provide measurements of key HIV risk behaviours and to generate evidence for advocacy and policy

The study was implemented within the GFATM-funded project “Generate evidence base on progress in behavior modification among MARPs and effectiveness of preventive interventions, to inform policies and practice” by Curatio International Foundation (CIF), Center for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health-Tanadgoma and the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health.

Read the full version of the study.