The impact of HIV disease on an Irish prison population

M. Murphy, K. Gaffney, O. Carey, E. Dooley, F. Mulcahy

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Between January 1987 and January 1991, 168 known HIV-infected prisoners have been incarcerated in Dublin's Mountjoy prison. This figure constitutes 16.6% of the total HIV-infected population in the Republic of Ireland over the same period. One hundred and forty-one (84%) of these prisoners have attended the Department of Genitourinary Medicine, St James's Hospital, Dublin. This group displayed considerable morbidity from HIV-related disease. Respiratory tract infection was the most frequent complication seen. Much additional morbidity was directly attributable to intravenous drug use. A survey of a representative group of inmates revealed that 64.7% were diagnosed HIV-positive in prison. The mean length of time spent incarcerated since the diagnosis of HIV infection was 38.9 months. Twenty-nine of 34 individuals who answered a questionnaire were imprisoned for drug-related crimes and 32 of 34 prisoners admitted to parenteral drug use within the prison. As the HIV epidemic unfolds in Dublin, increasing numbers of prisoners with symptomatic HIV disease will spend time incarcerated in Mountjoy prison. This will pose a considerable burden on prison and hospital medical services alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-429
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1992


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ireland/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prisoners
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous/complications

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