HIV prevention programmes in prisons

Export Indicator

HIV prevention and treatment programmes offered to prisoners while detained
What it measures

The number of prisoners who receive HIV preventive or treatment services while incarcerated


Prisoners are often at risk for acquiring HIV when they are released and living in the community. This is especially true for people involved with illicit drug use or where selling sex is illegal. Offering HIV prevention and treatment services in prisons can reduce HIV transmission risk both within the prison and in the community on release. A strong national HIV response will include such services to prisoners.

Number of clean needles distributed to prisoners
Number of prisoners receiving opioid agonist maintenance therapy
Number of condoms distributed to prisoners
Number of prisoners receiving antiretroviral therapy
Number of prisoners tested for HIV
Number or percentage of people living with HIV among prisoners
Number or percentage of prisoners with hepatitis C
Number of prisoners co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus
Number or percentage of prisoners with TB or co-infected with HIV and TB

Not applicable


Not applicable

Method of measurement

Routine programme data

Measurement frequency




Additional information requested

Number of prisons offering any HIV prevention or treatment services

Strengths and weaknesses

Programme data provide a strong picture of services and the burden of HIV among inmates. The indicator informs whether a national programme is taking advantage of serving a readily accessible population at higher risk.

Given the turnover in most prison systems, any programme data provide a snapshot of a given time period. Concerns for confidentiality and the welfare of inmates mitigates against surveys, although they can be useful if they can be conducted safely.

Further information

UNODC, ILO, UNDP, WHO, UNAIDS. HIV prevention, treatment and care in prisons and other closed settings: a comprehensive package of interventions. Vienna: UNODC; 2013.