Volume 98, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A prospective cohort study was conducted to evaluate the incidence and treatment outcomes of syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in inmates from Central Brazil. In 2013, 3,363 inmates from 12 prisons in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul were recruited, and 1,614 remained incarcerated after 1 year. The inmates were interviewed, and blood samples were collected for serological testing for and HIV infections. Inmates infected with or HIV within the first year were assessed for treatment using prison medical record data, based on Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test results, HIV-1 viral load, and CD4 counts. Acquired syphilis was identified in 5.8% ( = 95) of the inmates and 74% ( = 70) of them demonstrated poor treatment outcomes after 1 year. Multivariate analysis revealed that not reporting a stable partner was a risk factor for failure of syphilis treatment. Twenty-five patients had HIV (1.5%) and among those, 13 (52%) had an HIV-1 viral load > 200 copies/mL after 1 year. The incidence of and HIV infections was 0.5% ( = 9). The poor treatment outcomes of syphilis and HIV within Brazilian prisons demonstrate the inadequacy of public health programs. Although the incidence of these infections within the prison population is low, new cases still occur. Our results reinforce the significance of screening programs during prison admission for early detection and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.


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  • Received : 24 Jul 2017
  • Accepted : 20 Feb 2018
  • Published online : 07 May 2018

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