A new study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights that very few prisoners in U.S prisons acquire the HIV/AIDS virus and contradicts the widely held public perception which blames U.S. prisons for spread of the AIDS epidemic.
The study for the first time challenges the belief that imprisonment directly contributes to high incidence of HIV/AIDS, among the Blacks. The researchers of the present study gathered data from Georgia's prison system, which accommodates nearly 45,000 prisoners. It is also the nation's fifth largest prison system.
Upon compilation of the data, it was found that 90% of the HIV positive men had acquired the deadly infection before their captivity. Furthermore, the extensive 17-year study established that only 88 men had become infected in the prison, through homosexual contact.
The prison officials are indeed aware of the presence of gay sex inside the prison. In fact, 50% of those who got infected behind the bars reported that their partners were prison staff members, and not other inmates, as previously thought. Surprisingly, a majority of the inmates who reported indulgence in homosexual activities described it as being consensual.
At this juncture, with little information available, it is not clear if the prison officials were the source of HIV infection or if they had become infected.