BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 4:00 P.M. EST Bureau of Justice Statistics
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2010 Contact: Kara McCarthy 202-307-1241 After hours: 202-598-0556


WASHINGTON – On December 31, 2008, a reported 20,449 state prisoners and 1,538 federal prisoners were HIV positive or had confirmed AIDS, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. At yearend 2008, an estimated 5,733 inmates in state and federal prisons had confirmed AIDS, down from 5,814 in 2007. In 2007, about 41 per 10,000 prison inmates were estimated to have confirmed AIDS, compared to 17 per 10,000 persons in the general population.

At yearend 2008, the reported number of state and federal inmates who were HIV positive or had confirmed AIDS totaled 21,987. Among states reporting data in 2006 through 2008, the number of inmates with HIV/AIDS was stable between 2007 and 2008. Of the state and federal inmates who were HIV positive or had confirmed AIDS, a reported 20,075 were men and 1,912 were women. Between 2007 and 2008, the percentage of male inmates with HIV/AIDS remained stable at 1.5 percent, while the percentage of female inmates with HIV/AIDS decreased slightly from 2.1 percent to 1.9 percent.

Florida (3,626), New York (3,500) and Texas (2,450) reported the largest number of HIV/AIDS cases. While these three states account for 24 percent of the total state custody population, together they account for 46 percent of HIV/AIDS cases in state prison. New York continues to report large decreases (down 450) in the number of HIV/AIDS cases. Notable increases between 2007 and 2008 were in California (up 246) and Florida (up 166). 

Between 1995 and 2006 the number of state inmates who died from AIDS-related causes decreased 85 percent from 1,010 to 155. Continuing the downward trend, 120 state inmates died from AIDS-related causes in 2007. Among federal inmates, 13 died from AIDS-related causes in 2008, up from 10 in 2007.

During 2008, a total of 24 states reported testing all inmates for HIV at admission or sometime during custody. Among these 24 states, 23 tested at admission, five tested while in custody, and six tested upon release. Fifty states and the federal system tested inmates if they had HIV-related symptoms or if they requested an HIV test. Forty-two states and the federal system tested inmates after they were involved in an incident in which an inmate was exposed to a possible HIV transmission, and 18 states and the federal system tested inmates who belonged to specific high-risk groups.

The report, HIV in Prisons, 2007-08 (NCJ 228307), was written by BJS statistician Laura M. Maruschak and intern Randy Beavers. Following publication, the report can be found at

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS Web site at

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The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. In addition, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at



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