Prevention of Viral Hepatitis

  • Cindy Weinbaum
  • Karen A. Hennessey

On incarceration, all adults lose access to their usual public and private health-care and disease-prevention services. Their health care becomes the sole responsibility of either the correctional system (federal, tribal, state, or local) or, less frequently, the public health system (National Commission on Correctional Health Care, 1993). For the majority of persons, entry into the correctional system provides an opportunity to access health care that they could not access before. However, the rapid turnover of the incarcerated population, especially in jails, and the suboptimal funding of correctional health and prevention services, often limits the correctional system in providing both curative and preventive care. The significance of including incarcerated populations in community-based disease prevention and control strategies is now recognized by public health and correctional professionals (Glaser & Greifinger, 1993; Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, 2002). Improved access to medical care and prevention services for incarcerated populations can benefit communities by reducing disease transmission and associated medical costs (Conklin, Lincoln, & Flanigan, 1998; Mast, Williams, Alter, & Margolis, 1998; Silberstein, Coles, Greenberg, Singer, & Voigt, 2000; Kahn, Scholl, Shane, Lemoine, & Farley, 2002; Goldstein et al., 2002). Inmates who participate in health-related programs while incarcerated have lower recidivism rates and are more likely to maintain health-conscious behaviors (Conklin et al., 1998). Finally, because incarcerated persons have a high frequency of infection with hepatitis viruses, community efforts to prevent and control these infections require inclusion of the correctional population (CDC, 1998a, 2005; Fiore, Wasley, & Bell, 2006).


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Injection Drug User Correctional Facility Postexposure Prophylaxis Correctional Health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy Weinbaum
    • 1
  • Karen A. Hennessey
    • 2
  1. 1.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Viral HepatitisUS Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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