In Ukraine in 2013 was at the third time conducted bio-behavioral study among prisoners, which combined target group survey and testing for HIV infection. Examination to determine the number of CD 4 lymphocytes for prisoners, who received a positive HIV test result, was included to survey at the first time. The questionnaire included standard blocks of questions concerning prevention activities of prisoners, level of their awareness about HIV/AIDS and prevalence of risky to HIV infection behavioral practices. In addition, for the first time were added questions about access of prisoners to necessary health and social services in institutions of the State Penitentiary Service, in particular about accessibility of services in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV for HIV-positive prisoners, and providing social support to representatives of the target group.

Research methods:

  • self-completion questionnaires with  the presence of the interviewer and staff member. Total number of respondents is 1471 prisoners in different types of institutions of the State Penitentiary Service, such as penal colonies for men and women and juvenile correctional facilities.
  • HIV testing of prisoners, for which ELISA test-system were applied.  The results were verified with the help of test-system of another manufacturer.
  • Determining the number of CD4 lymphocytes of prisoners, who had positive results of HIV test. The research was held in Reference Diagnostic Laboratory of HIV-infection/AIDS with immunology of HIV infection department, HIV serology department, HIV virology department. The number of CD4 cells of 124 prisoners from17 penal institutions was determined. That is 77% of diagnosed cases of HIV infection among prisoners.

The survey was conducted by AC “Socioconsulting” (sociological component) and employees of the State penitentiary service of Ukraine (consulting prisoners about HIV, sampling and transportation of blood samples to the laboratory).