ATLANTA (AP) _ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today announced grants totaling $7 million to help develop HIV prevention programs in prisons in seven states.

A study released by the CDC in August found there are 8,900 inmates nationwide with AIDS and 35,000 to 47,000 with the virus that causes it. The CDC said the figures represent a rate of infection and disease five times higher than the national average.

``Prisons and jails provide a critical opportunity to provide lifesaving HIV prevention services to a population that might otherwise be missed,'' said Dr. Helene Gayle, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. ``Many of these individuals pass through these facilities only briefly before returning to the community. If we fail them, we fail our communities.''

The CDC said inmates are not generally infected while incarcerated, but that only 10 percent of state and federal prison systems and only 5 percent of city and county jails have HIV prevention programs.

States receiving grants of between $900,000 and $1.1 million are California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. The grant given Illinois will be shared with Chicago; New York's funding is to be shared with New York City; and California's grant is to be shared with Los Angeles and San Francisco.