Objective Cohort studies of prisoner and student community volunteer blood donors recruited in 2007–2012 in 30 gaols and 30 educational institues of Punjab province. In Punjab, there are 32 prisoners gaol that are nearly three times overcrowded with 62500 prisoners (undertrial, convict and condemned prisoners). A number of studies indicate that even in prisons of developed countries prevalence of transmission of sexually transmitted infections and HIV is high.
Methods Ten thousand-5000 each fromjail and educational institutes) apparently healthy donors were assessed for the sero-prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and syphillus (RPR) using a commercially available Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)-based kit. Information was obtained for risk factors using structured questionnaire.
Results Out of the 5,000 samples screened in each community, 337 (6.74%) in student community and 1424 (28.48%) in prisoner community were sero-positive. Subjects aged 15–45 years recorded 2.20% HBV, 4.12% HCV, 0.42% RPR and no HIV positivity in students while in prisons 5.28% HBV, 12.32% HCV, 0.18% HIV and 10.70% RPR positivity was recorded. Subjects aged 15–25 years are more HBV positive (2.51%) and (7.94%) while subjects aged 25–35 years were more HCV positive (4.88%) and (14.18%) in student and prisoner community respectively. Unfortunately, sero-prevalnce rate is high in prisoner community as compared to student community.
Conclusion Overcrowding, poor hygienic and close living conditions stake prisoners at a very high risk for acquisition of sexually transmitted infections as compare to student community. Public awareness and vaccination programme should be improved in the community on urgent basis.
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