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Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the Prison Population  

Author:  Ioana  Bika, M.D..

Source: Volume 02, Number 03, March/April 2001 , pp.33-36(4)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Health care providers play a critical role in preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the prison population, especially given that many STD infections are asymptomatic in over 50% of patients (Judson, 1990; Handsfield, 1986). Based on a 1997 survey of jails from 94 counties (Parece, 1999), most facilities have a policy of offering STD testing only to detainees with symptoms of infection or to those who request testing. Less than a quarter of the facilities routinely offered chlamydia or gonorrhea testing, and less than half routinely offered syphilis testing. Of the facilities sampled, 10% had a policy of offering routine syphilis screening using Stat rapid plasma reagin test (RPR), 28% routinely offered pregnancy and syphilis testing, but due to laboratory serology turnaround time, only 7% of syphilis seroreactive women were treated during incarceration (Blank, 1997).

Keywords: HIV, Genital Ulcers, Chancroid, Herpes, syphilis

Affiliations:  1: Middlesex County Jail .

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