Lesser men in jail can reduce spread of HIV: Study

Lesser men in jail can reduce spread of HIV: Study

Spread of HIV can be slowed down by reducing the number of men who go to jail. This will also help in decreasing the number of sexual partners both men and women have.

University of Michigan developed a computer model in order to show the negative effects of more men going to prison, as well as suggesting longer sentences make the effect worse.

Researchers noted that men who have been incarcerated experience substantial changes in their sexual behavior after release from jail and prison, and high rates of incarceration may change sexual relationship patterns at a community level.

Incarceration is one of many social forces that affect sexual decision-making, and incarceration rates may have substantial effects on community-level HIV and STD risks.

Few studies, however, address how rates of incarceration affect community patterns of sexual behavior, and the implications of those patterns for HIV and STD risk.

The model shows that simply removing men and returning them to the community frequently can increase the number of sexual partners that both men and women have in the community, Dr. Andrea Knittel, a researchers at the University of California San Francisco who was involved with the study, said in a press release. It supports the assertion that mass incarceration has complicated and far-reaching unintended consequences, and may have significant public health implications.

Researchers describe a proof of principle computational model that tests whether rates of male incarceration could, in part, explain observed population-level differences in patterns of sexual behavior between communities with high rates of incarceration and those without.

This validated agent-based model of sexual partnership among 20 25 year old heterosexual urban residents in the United States using an algorithm that incarcerates male agents and then releases them back into the agent community. The results from these model experiments suggest that at rates of incarceration similar to those observed for urban African American men, incarceration can cause an increase in the number of partners at the community level.

The results suggest that reducing incarceration and creating a more open criminal justice system that supports the maintenance of inmates' relationships to reduce instability of partnerships for men who are incarcerated may have important sexual health and public health implications.

Lesser men in jail can reduce spread of HIV: Study