Seroprevalence of human immunodeficiency virus among inpatient pretrial detainees.

D. Schwartz-Watts, L. D. Montgomery and D. W. Morgan,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 23(2): 285-8, 1995.
Medical records of inpatients discharged from a forensic unit in Columbia, South Carolina, from January 1991 to December 1991 were reviewed to determine the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity. Results were linked to age, gender, ethnicity, history of intravenous drug use, and Axis I diagnoses. HIV status was obtained for 74 percent of patients 18 to 55 years of age. The incidence of HIV seropositivity among patients tested was 5.5 percent, which is greater than 40 times the incidence for the general population in South Carolina. Intravenous drug use was reported for 33 percent of the seropositive males. We conclude that inpatient pretrial detainees are at increased risk for HIV infection. HIV testing should be mandated at all facilities housing detainees. Further studies are needed to determine any factors about these patients that can be linked to seropositivity.