Prisons are factories for TB epidemic

Prisons are factories for TB epidemic

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At the first-ever United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on tuberculosis (TB) in September, the global spotlight is set to focus on this neglected disease and conditions that continue to influence its spread. In a study published in The Lancet in 2016, it was revealed that of the total global incarcerated population of 10.2 million, 286,000 have active TB. A further 389,000 also have HIV. The risk of TB in prison on average is 23 times higher than in the general population.
The high rate of HIV in prisons is made worse by lack of prevention options as well as sexual violence. Even with treatment available, prisoners living with HIV face a much greater risk of TB.
Overcrowding seems to be the single biggest root cause of the prison TB epidemic. The researchers in the Lancet study blame it on the practice of mass incarceration of people who inject drugs. Another driver of overcrowding is the use of pre-trial detention and the slow process of adjudication.
The following story is reproduced with permission from IPS and South-North Development Monitor (SUNS) #8728, 24 July 2018.
 Third World Network

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