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Knowledge of prophylaxis treatment therapy among HIV-positive prisoners

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The present study examined the level of knowledge and understanding of Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP) treatment therapy among heterosexual and non-heterosexual inmates (prisoners) with HIV-infection. This study seeks to determine if any differences exist between HIV-positive inmates based on sexual orientation, with reference to PCP treatment therapy. It is our contention that this effort will provide health professionals with valuable insight regarding delivering expanded care for HIV-infected individuals in incarcerated settings. The participants for this study were 99 HIV-positive inmates recruited between May and June 1995. These individuals were drawn from a list of all HIV/AIDS prisoners at the facility. More than 56% of the sample admitted their preferred sexual orientation as heterosexual compared to 43.4% non-heterosexual. More non-heterosexual seropositive inmates were likely to report PCP was preventable (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 0.56, 2.42), as well as noting its contagious attributes (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 0.90, 2.21). Furthermore, non-heterosexual inmates were more likely to report they were taking prescribed medications for their infections (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 0.76, 2.36) and that they knew the names of the prescriptions they were taking (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 0.59, 2.14). Regardless of sexual orientation, it is consistent with the research that HIV-positive individuals may engage in risky sexual behaviour that may place non-infected individuals at risk of contracting the virus. Prison provides an opportunity to provide education to multiple at-risk populations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 1999

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