Implementing Opt-Out Programs at Los Angeles County Jail: A Gateway to Novel Research and Interventions

January 01, 2011

Routine opt-out screening and vaccination programs are effective methods for improving public health in correctional populations. Jail-based rapid testing for HIV, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can improve urban health by increasing diagnosis and linkage to care for infectious diseases. In addition, jail-based vaccination programs would significantly benefit community health and lower costs associated with tertiary level care. The paucity of ethical and rigorous scientific research among incarcerated populations excludes these marginalized members of society from potential advancements in correctional medicine and public health. Routine opt-out testing programs would not only benefit the health of the correctional population but also serve as platforms for future research. Trials measuring the efficacy of new rapid tests, screening methods, novel vaccine delivery systems, or accelerated vaccine regimens would be greatly beneficial.

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