Journal Articles

Publication Date



The Lancet Regional Health - Americas


BACKGROUND: Understanding the impact of incarceration on HIV transmission among Black men who have sex with men is important given their disproportionate representation among people experiencing incarceration and the potential impact of incarceration on social and sexual networks, employment, housing, and medical care. We developed an agent-based network model (ABNM) of 10,000 agents representing young Black men who have sex with men in the city of Chicago to examine the impact of varying degrees of post-incarceration care disruption and care engagement interventions following release from jail on HIV incidence.

METHODS: Exponential random graph models were used to model network formation and dissolution dynamics, and network dynamics and HIV care continuum engagement were varied according to incarceration status. Hypothetical interventions to improve post-release engagement in HIV care for individuals with incarceration (e.g., enhanced case management, linkage to housing and employment services) were compared to a control scenario with no change in HIV care engagement after release.

FINDING: HIV incidence at 10 years was 4.98 [95% simulation interval (SI): 4.87, 5.09 per 100 person-years (py)] in the model population overall; 5.58 (95% SI 5.38, 5.76 per 100 py) among those with history of incarceration, and 12.86 (95% SI 11.89, 13.73 per 100 py) among partners of agents recently released from incarceration. Sustained post-release HIV care for agents with HIV and experiencing recent incarceration resulted in a 46% reduction in HIV incidence among post-incarceration partners [incidence rate (IR) per 100 py = 5.72 (95% SI 5.19, 6.27) vs. 10.61 (95% SI 10.09, 11.24); incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 0.54; (95% SI 0.48, 0.60)] and a 19% reduction in HIV incidence in the population overall [(IR per 100 py = 3.89 (95% SI 3.81-3.99) vs. 4.83 (95% SI 4.73, 4.92); IRR = 0.81 (95% SI 0.78, 0.83)] compared to a scenario with no change in HIV care engagement from pre-to post-release.

INTERPRETATION: Developing effective and scalable interventions to increase HIV care engagement among individuals experiencing recent incarceration and their sexual partners is needed to reduce HIV transmission among Black men who have sex with men.

FUNDING: This work was supported by the following grants from the National Institutes of Health: R01DA039934; P20 GM 130414; P30 AI 042853; P30MH058107; T32 DA 043469; U2C DA050098 and the California HIV/AIDS Research Program: OS17-LA-003; H21PC3466.


HIV, Incarceration, Sexual minorities, Agent-based modeling

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