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HIV and the Cell: The Prisoner's Dilemma

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Science  13 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6091, pp. 180-181
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6091.180

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Josiah Rich, a clinician and researcher at Brown University who treats HIV-infected inmates, believes that one of the most important places to stanch the AIDS epidemic is in the nation's prisons. The United States incarcerates roughly 10 million prisoners each year—the most in the world—and people behind bars disproportionately come from the highest risk groups for HIV infection: injecting drug users, heterosexuals who have concurrent relationships, the impoverished, the homeless, and African Americans and Latinos. Some 150,000 HIV-infected people are released from jails and prisons each year. That's 12.5% of all the infected people in the country. Over the past 18 years, Rich has conducted pioneering research about HIV/AIDS in prisoners and helped Rhode Island create one of the most progressive and effective programs to help people both behind bars and when they're on the outside.