Predictors of mortality within prison and after release among persons living with HIV in Indonesia

Gabriel J. Culbert, Forrest W. Crawford, Astia Murni, Agung Waluyo, Alexander R. Bazazi, Junaiti Sahar, Frederick L. Altice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: HIV-related mortality is increasing in Indonesia, where prisons house many people living with HIV and addiction. We examined all-cause mortality in HIV-infected Indonesian prisoners within prison and up to 24 months postrelease. Materials and methods: Randomly selected HIV-infected male prisoners (n=102) from two prisons in Jakarta, Indonesia, completed surveys in prison and were followed up for 2 years (until study completion) or until they died or were lost to follow-up. Death dates were determined from medical records and interviews with immediate family members. Kaplan' Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression models were analyzed to identify mortality predictors. Results: During 103 person-years (PYs) of follow-up, 15 deaths occurred, including ten in prison. The crude mortality rate within prison (125.2 deaths per 1,000 PYs) was surpassed by the crude mortality rate (215.7 deaths per 1,000 PYs) in released prisoners. HIV-associated opportunistic infections were the most common probable cause of death. Predictors of within-prison and overall mortality were similar. Shorter survival overall was associated with being incarcerated within a specialized 'narcotic' prison for drug offenders (hazard ratio [HR] 9.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-76.5; P=0.03), longer incarceration (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.1; P=0.01), and advanced HIV infection (CD4+ T-cell count <200/µL, HR 4.8, 95% CI 1.2-18.2; P=0.02). Addiction treatment was associated with longer survival (HR 0.1, 95% CI 0.01-0.9; P=0.03), although treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) or methadone was not. Conclusion: Mortality in HIV-infected prisoners is extremely high in Indonesia, despite limited provision of ART in prisons. Interventions to restore immune function with ART and provide prophylaxis for opportunistic infections during incarceration and after release would likely reduce mortality. Narcotic prisons may be especially high-risk environments for mortality, emphasizing the need for universal access to evidence-based HIV treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
JournalResearch and Reports in Tropical Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2017


  • Antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS, Indonesia, Mortality, Prisoners, Substance use


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