Background: The purpose of this project was to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis C among the inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison in Anguilla, British West Indies, as well as the rate of transmission whilst incarcerated. Participation was voluntarily by 24 participants and confidentiality was maintained by replacing the inmate’s names with numbers.
Methods: A validated questionnaire was given and guided towards lifestyle, behaviors while incarcerated and knowledge of the disease and safety precautions. Following the survey, Hepatitis C testing was performed via an immunoassay for the presence of antibodies in the samples serum.
Findings: There was one inmate who tested positive for Hepatitis C as a part of his initial work up upon incarceration, and the same inmate was found to be positive for HCV after our testing; concluding, there was no increase in the number of affected inmates.
Conclusion: This research was beneficial in educating the inmates of Anguilla about hepatitis C and its associated risk factors; however, language barriers, and small population size were some of the limitations the researchers came across. Results for Hepatitis C in this Anguillan prison population is significantly lower than results seen in the United States, and Canada.
Alexia Kamel, Kristina Candido, David Frias and Henry Sioufi