The Lancet November 19, 2010
Providing prisoners with better health care could prevent outbreaks of HIV and tuberculosis from spilling over into the general population, experts say. Prisoners typically have higher rates of diseases including AIDS, hepatitis, mental illnesses and tuberculosis. Treating people while they are jailed gives authorities a chance to stop health problems before they hit the public, wrote UTMB’s Jacques Baillargeon and Seena Fazel of the University of Oxford. Baillargeon, an associate professor and epidemiologist in the department of preventive medicine and community health, said: “Scientists around the world have consistently observed a disproportionate burden of chronic and infectious disease among prisoners. In many cases, incarceration presents a rare opportunity to receive disease screening and preventive health care, treatment and education.” The news is getting global coverage and appears in the Washington Post, Texas Tribune, Galveston County Daily News, ScienceDaily, Guidry News, Medical News Today, KFOX-TV (El Paso) and KHOU.com, among others.