Knowledge of demographics, risk factors, and infection rates is essential to the design of effective HIV counseling and testing programs for incarcerated women. This study analyzed data from 19,057 females counseled and tested for HIV in the Harris County Sheriff's Office jail from 1992 through 2000. Important findings include the inmates' open-ness in disclosing high-risk behaviors, the decrease in reports of intra-venous drug use, and the increased use of noninjection drugs during sex. Identified characteristics of high-risk inmates such as relatively high percentages of Black females and of females over age 30-present new challenges when considering how that may affect HIV transmission and how to design effective HIV prevention programs.
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