Epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections among offenders following arrest or incarceration

Sarah E. Wiehe*, Marc B. Rosenman, Matthew C. Aalsma, Michael L. Scanlon, J. Dennis Fortenberry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objectives. We sought to estimate rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among criminal offenders in the 1 year after arrest or release from incarceration. Methods. We performed a retrospective cohort study of risk of having a positive STI (chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis) or incident-positive HIV test in the 1 year following arrest or incarceration in Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana. Participants were 247 211 individuals with arrest or incarceration in jail, prison, or juvenile detention between 2003 and 2008. Results. Test positivity rates (per 100 000 and per year) were highest for chlamydia (2968) and gonorrhea (2305), and lower for syphilis (278) and HIV (61). Rates of positive STI and HIV were between 1.5 and 2.8 times higher in female than male participants and between 2.7 and 6.9 times higher for Blacks than Whites. Compared with nonoffenders, offenders had a relative risk of 3.9 for chlamydia, 6.6 for gonorrhea, 3.6 for syphilis, and 4.6 for HIV. Conclusions. The 1-year period following arrest or release from incarceration represents a high-impact opportunity to reduce STI and HIV infection rates at a population level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e26-e32
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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