Rapid HIV Screening in an Urban Jail: How Testing at Exit With Linkage to Community Care Can Address Perceived Barriers

Kari A. Simonsen, Raees A. Shaikh, Mary Earley, Mark Foxall, Cole Boyle, K. M. Islam, Heather Younger, Uriel Sandkovsky, Elizabeth Berthold, Ruth Margalit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Despite recommendations from the CDC, only 36 % of jails offer routine HIV screening to inmates. Our purpose was to explore the feasibility of rapid HIV testing at release from an urban jail, and to identify potential barriers to this process. This project was incorporated into an established partnership between the jail, local academic medical center, and local public health department. We offered rapid HIV testing at the time of release to 507 jail inmates over a 7 week period of 2013. Three hundred and two (60 %) inmates elected testing. All participating inmates received individual test counseling, HIV prevention education, and linkage to care in the community prior to release. All tested inmates received results before release; one inmate screened positive for HIV and was linked to care. Previous HIV testing was the most frequently cited reason given (60 %) among the 205 inmates who declined at the time of the study. Utilizing the partnership between the jail, public health, and an academic medical center, we found that rapid HIV testing at exit was feasible and acceptable in this urban jail setting and could provide immediate linkage to care for those in need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-432
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • HIV testing
  • Incarceration
  • Jails

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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