Open Access Research article

Socio-demographic determinants of coinfections by HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses in central Italian prisoners

Giuseppe La Torre1*, Luca Miele2, Giacomina Chiaradia1, Alice Mannocci1, Manuela Reali1, Giovanni Gasbarrini2, Elisabetta De Vito3, Antonio Grieco2 and Walter Ricciardi1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Hygiene – Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

2 Institute of Internal Medicine – Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy

3 Chair of Hygiene – University of Cassino, Cassino, Italy

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:100  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-100

Published: 30 August 2007



The coinfections HIV/HCV/HBV are an important health issue in penitentiary communities. The aim of the study was to examine HIV, HBV and HCV coinfections determinants amongst prisoners in the jails of Southern Lazio (Central Italy), in the period 1995–2000.


Diagnosis of seropositivities for HIV, HBV and HCV was made using ELISA method. A multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to verify the influence of socio-demographic factors on the HIV/HBV/HCV coinfections.


HIV/HCV, HBV/HCV and HIV/HBV coinfections were detected in 42 (4%), 203 (17.9%) and 31 (2.9%) inmates, respectively. These coinfections are significantly associated with the status of drug addiction (OR = 16.02; p = 0.012; OR = 4.15; p < 0.001; OR = 23.57; p = 0.002), smoking habits (OR = 3.73; p = 0.033; OR = 1.42; p = 0.088; OR = 4.25; p = 0.053) and Italian nationality (OR = 7.05; p = 0.009; OR = 2.31; p < 0.001; OR = 4.61; p = 0.04).


The prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV seropositivity in jails suggests that information and education programs for inmates could be useful to reduce the spread of such infections.