Posted: March 10, 2016

Medical Students Support HIV Prevention Program in Local Jails


Incarcerated populations are particularly vulnerable to HIV. Though the incarcerated population demands significant attention, medical students have little experience working with such a specialized group. Further, few are familiar with career opportunities that would allow them to serve high-risk populations. To dually address both the unique health needs of incarcerated groups and the need for practitioners who are interested and skilled in working with high-risk populations, it is important for medical schools to create partnerships and opportunities that provide students early exposure to public health settings. Faculty in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (DFMPHS) at Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) provide HIV prevention services in the Wayne County Jails (WCJ), offering a unique opportunity for medical student learning in a public health setting. Through the Co-Curricular Service Learning Program at WSUSOM, first- and second-year medical students in the STI/HIV Initiative student organization are offered credit for completing a two-year volunteer commitment by providing education and awareness for STI/HIV prevention in metro-Detroit. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) certified students in HIV prevention, training typically restricted to employees of local health departments and AIDS service organizations.


Public Health, HIV, Volunteer, Student, Training, Community Health, Community Partnerships, AIDS, Correctional Facility, Incarcerated


Caleb Vanderveen, MD, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Dana K. Rice, DrPH, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Elyse Schultz, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Sarah Atkinson, Wayne State University School of Medicine