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Practices Reported by Incarcerated Drug Abusers to Reduce Risk of AIDS
Edwin V. Valdiserri; Alan J. Hartl; Catherine A. Chambliss
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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Lenape Valley Foundaion, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Lenape Valley Foudation Correctional Mental Health Services, Bucks County(Pa.)

Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426

© 1988 by the American Psychiatric Association

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The nation's response to AIDS has failed to effectively curb the spread of AIDS among intravenous (IV) drug users, who are primarily responsible for transmitting the disease to heterosexuals and children. A study assessing awareness of AIDS among 58 county jail inmates—27 IV drug abusers and 31 nonintravenous drug abusers—found that a minority bad received formal AIDS education. All of the subjects claimed to be taking some precautions against AIDS, but IV drug abusers were significantly more fearful about contracting AIDS than were nonintravenous users. Less than half of either group knew that asymptomatic carriers of the AIDS virus were in fectious. IV drug users who reported no longer sharing needles (56 percent) or no longer shoot ing drugs (22 percent) were more likely than those who took less effective precautions to believe that individuals bad control over events. County jails and other correctional institutions are urged to educate inmates about AIDS prevention.

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