Socio-Economic Characteristics of HIV in a South African Prison

Jeff Gow, Bligh Grant, Mark Colvin


South Africa has placed increased importance on addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has identified people in
prisons as one of several high risk groups. Despite this emphasis, respective departments have not pursued the task
of data collection at all vigorously. A sample of 274 volunteer inmates was drawn from the Westville Maximum
Security Prison, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province. A probit model was used and the data analysed to establish
statistically significant risk factors for transmission of HIV and importantly the characteristics of those who are
infected or not infected by HIV. The study found that sero-prevalence rates were significantly higher than the
general population, and that the two socio-economic factors correlating to HIV/AIDS were ethnicity and age.

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