Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Frederick L. Altice

Subject Area(s)

Medicine, Public health


While Argentina has significantly improved access to HIV care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) for both the general population and prisoners, the prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) among HIV-infected prisoners and their relationship to accessing ART in Argentina is currently unknown. This study aims to characterize the substance abuse patterns of HIV-infected prisoners in Argentina and to assess the independent correlates of receipt of pre-incarceration ART.

An anonymous, cross-sectional survey of 100 HIV-infected federal prisoners was conducted in the Buenos Aires municipality from July-December 2010. AUDs were assessed using the AUDIT scale.

A majority (63 per cent) of participants met criteria for AUDs, 45 per cent of subjects were diagnosed with HIV in prison and one-quarter had initiated ART during the current incarceration. In addition, over one-third (35 per cent) of participants did not receive ART during the pre-incarceration period despite receiving it upon incarceration. This correlated significantly with the presence of having an AUD (AOR 0.20, 95 per cent CI 0.06-0.74, p = 0.016).

AUDs are prevalent among HIV-infected prisoners in Argentina and are significantly related to not receiving ART in the community among those who meet treatment criteria and receive ART in prison. While Argentina has provided an exemplary model of HIV-related health care reform within its prisons, future efforts to provide screening and treatment for AUDs are needed to improve the health of the nation's incarcerated population.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access