Prisoners: HIV Prevalence

Export Indicator

Percentage of prisoners who are living with HIV
What it measures

The extent of HIV infection among prisoners.


Many countries in Europe and central Asia are concerned that prisoners are disproportionately affected by HIV. HIV prevalence among prisoners provides useful evidence of the extent to which HIV is present among prisoners.


Number of prisoners who test positive for HIV.


Number of prisoners tested for HIV.


Numerator / Denominator

Method of measurement

This indicator can be measured using programmatic data, e.g. from HIV testing in prisons.

Measurement frequency



Age group: (greater than) 25 years

Gender: Male, Female

Explanation of the numerator
Explanation of the denominator
Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths and Weaknesses
Prevalence data is needed to establish that a particular group is disproportionately affected by HIV. Behavioural data may indicate increased risk but without biological confirmation does not indicate exposure.

The term ‘prisoner’ may be used differently in different contexts. When reporting prevalence data, it is important to define clearly the group of prisoners being considered.

In theory, assessing progress in reducing the occurrence of new infections is best done through monitoring changes in incidence over time. However, in practice, information about prevalence is more available than for incidence.

Further information

ECDC (2010) Implementing the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and central Asia: 2010 Progress Report Section 2.6 Prisoners pp. 122-129.

Special Note
As for all indicators related to monitoring the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and central Asia, where a country does not have data for the indicator specified but has data for a similar indicator, the country is welcome to submit such data when reporting. When submitting alternate data, please provide as much detail as possible as to what information is being supplied. More questions related to the qualitative assessment of prisoners are included in the ECDC supplement NCPI questionnaire.