Background: Although HIV and tuberculosis (TB) prevalence are high in prisons throughout sub-Saharan Africa,
little research has been conducted on factors related to prevention, testing and treatment services.
Conclusions: Current conditions and the lack of available medical care in Zambia’s prisons violate human rights
protections and threaten prisoners’ health. In order to protect the health of prisoners, prison-based health services,
linkages to community-based health care, general prison conditions and failures of the criminal justice system that
exacerbate overcrowding must be immediately improved. International donors should work with the Zambian
government to support prison and justice system reform and ensure that their provision of funding in such areas
as health services respect human rights standards, including non-discrimination. Human rights protections against
torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and criminal justice system rights, are essential to curbing the
spread of HIV and TB in Zambian prisons, and to achieving broader goals to reduce HIV and TB in Zambia.