Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 257

Full Length Research Paper

Mass incarceration, residential segregation and racial disparities in HIV

Loren Henderson
  • Loren Henderson
  • Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, U.S A.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 20 July 2016
  •  Accepted: 10 November 2016
  •  Published: 31 December 2016


Using a “mass incarceration” framework and county-level national data, this paper examines the relationship between incarceration, ex-offender reentry locations, and HIV rates in counties with different racial compositions. A series of “race-of-county” stratified regression models estimate HIV prevalence rates with incarceration and ex-offender reentry locations when taking into consideration residential segregation (that is, Black isolation and White isolation), region, high school graduation rates, sex ratios, unemployment rates, median income, healthcare professional shortages, percentage of residents without insurance, population density, and income inequality. As predicted, HIV rates are higher in counties with high incarceration rates or with ex-offender reentry facilities. A race-of-county stratified analysis, however, reveals nuanced patterns: In White counties and the highest-percentage Black counties, HIV rates increase as incarceration rates increase. In integrated counties, they do not. In the highest-percentage Black counties, the presence of reentry locations is associated with higher rates of HIV, but this is not true in White and integrated counties. In integrated counties, higher levels of Black isolation are associated with high HIV rates. In counties of all racial compositions, higher levels of White isolation are associated with lower rates of HIV. Implications of these results are discussed.

Key words: HIV, mass incarceration, residential segregation, racial disparities in HIV.