Purpose of review
To advance a re-conceptualized prevention, treatment, and care continuum (PTCC) for HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) in prisons, and to make recommendations for strengthening prison health systems and reducing HIV-associated TB morbidity and mortality throughout the cycle of pretrial detention, incarceration, and release.
Despite evidence of increased HIV-associated TB burden in prisons compared to the general population, prisoners face entrenched barriers to accessing anti-TB therapy, antiretroviral therapy, and evidence-based HIV and TB prevention. New approaches, suitable for the complexities of healthcare delivery in prisons, have emerged that may address these barriers, and include: novel TB diagnostics, universal test and treat for HIV, medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence, comprehensive transitional case management, and peer navigation, among others.
Realizing ambitious international HIV and TB targets in prisons will only be possible by first addressing the root causes of the TB/HIV syndemic, which are deeply intertwined with human rights violations and weaknesses in prison health systems, and, second, fundamentally re-organizing HIV and TB services around a coordinated PTCC. Taking these steps can help ensure universal access to comprehensive, good-quality, free and voluntary TB/HIV prevention, treatment, and care, and advance efforts to strengthen health resourcing, staffing, information management, and primary care access within prisons.