Clinical

Hepatitis in prisons

The Health Protection Agency and Offender Health produce a quarterly bulletin called 'Infection Inside' which looks at current topics regarding health protection in prisons. The current issue focuses on hepatitis to mark World Hepatitis Day on 28 July. Hepatitis affects a large percentage of the prison population and Dr Martin Lombard DH Clinical Director for Liver Disease says that 'During the course of developing a strategy for liver disease, it has become apparent that a significant proportion of people in correctional institutions may be unaware that they are at risk of developing liver disease. Data from a variety of developed countries (including England, Scotland and Ireland) shows overall HCV seroprevalence rates in correctional facilities ranging from 20-40%, with much higher rates in those prisoners with a history of IDU: data compiled by the HPA indicate that approximately 26% of prisoners were tested in 2009 and 22% of those were positive'.

For further information about work carried out by Offender Health and the Health Protection Agency in prisons see http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/PrisonInfectionPreventionTeam/ . The full version of the current bulletin ‘Infection Inside’ can be accessed below.