The Role of Incarceration in the Spread HIV/AIDS
The racial inequalities in the infection rates of HIV/AIDS are one of the health challenges in the United States. For instance, African Americans in the country are unequally infected with HIV as compared to other races (Brewer et al., 2014). Consequently, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the people of African descent is approximately nine times relative to that of the Caucasian. Previous studies have indicated that the HIV/AIDS disparities are a product of underlying issues in the criminal justice systems and correctional systems in the country (Rowell-Cunsolo et al., 2016). Precisely, high level of contact in the corrections structure such as parole, probation, and incarceration in both states and Federal prisons has an effect on the spread of HIV/AIDS. Young adults and adolescents have higher rates of HIV among people of African descent.
Research Question: What are the effects of incarceration in the spread of AIDS among the people of African descent?
According to Rowell-Cunsolo et al. (2016), incarceration forms a significant part of the background of life for many African Americans. The main objective of the study was to analyse the predictors of mass imprisonment and its relationship with human immunodeficiency virus infections among men of African descent. Data was collected from 1369 imprisoned women and men in New York City. The research also noted that the US has the biggest rate of incarcerations across the globe with the People of African descent taking the highest proportions of imprisoned persons (Rowell-Cunsolo et al., 2016). Precisely, an African American young man has a probability of about 29 per cent of being imprisoned in the course of his life. In fact, 12.5 per cent of young men between 25 and 29 years are presently incarcerated. Furthermore, male people of African descent occupy more than 60 per cent of the entire population in the US prisons while they are only 13 per cent of the entire population of males in the country (Rowell-Cunsolo et al., 2016).
More importantly, the problem of high rate of imprisonment among People of African descent has devastating impacts on HIV transmission and sexual networks. The researchers argued that it directly influence the sexual networks by taking away from partnerships. For instance, a person who is jailed may engage in sex while in prison especially with high-risk persons while the individual who is not imprisoned lacks the social support of the jailed partner (Rowell-Cunsolo et al., 2016). Consequently, it may lead to the search for other social partners. The research noted that when a male partner is incarcerated, female partner is more likely to participate in simultaneous sexual relationships. The study concluded that imprisonment increases the exposure of an individual to STIs such as human immunodeficiency virus, psychological illness, and drug abuse (Rowell-Cunsolo et al., 2016).