Public health guidance on active case finding of communicable diseases in prison settings
Prevention and control of communicable diseases in prison settings
Compared with the general public, people in prison in the EU/EEA have a higher burden of communicable diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and tuberculosis (TB). Increased disease prevalence in this population is recognised as a significant public health concern, both for people living and working in prisons and for the general population at large because the vast majority of people held in prisons eventually return to their communities. Yet, incarceration may represent a unique opportunity to make adequate healthcare... services available to people and target groups that are usually hard to reach when in the community. Active case finding is one of the key measures for the prevention and control of communicable diseases that should be considered for broader implementation in prison settings. It supports early diagnosis, ensures that infected people can receive early treatment and care, and thus contributes to prevent onward disease transmission. The successful implementation of evidence-based interventions in prison settings requires an in-depth knowledge of structural hurdles, individual barriers, and the characteristics and behaviours of the prison population. To this aim, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) have joined forces to develop a common evidence-based guidance for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in prison settings in the EU/EEA. This document provides EU/EEA Member States with evidence-based scientific advice on active case finding options. These options can be applied to the planning and implementation of interventions that promote the early diagnosis of communicable diseases in prison settings.