3240.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 9:42 PM

Abstract #4971

Lack of behavior change after disclosure of hepatitis C virus infection among young injection drug users in Baltimore, Maryland

Danielle C. Ompad, MHS1, Crystal M. Fuller, PhD1, David Vlahov, PhD2, David Thomas, MD3, Lisette M. Johnson, MS1, Charmaine Harrington, MA1, and Steffanie A. Strathdee, PhD1. (1) Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 1235 East Monument Street, Suite 210, Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-614-4535, dompad@jhsph.edu, (2) Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY, (3) Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Objectives: Recent initiates to injection drug use are at high risk of blood-borne infections (e.g. HIV and HCV). Changes in sexual and drug use behaviors following disclosure of HCV results among young (age 15-30), recently initiated IDUs were studied. Methods: Participants underwent semi-annual interviews, HIV and HCV testing. HIV counselors disclosed results and provided risk reduction counseling. Logistic regression was used to study changes in risk behaviors from baseline to first follow-up visit among IDUs who received an HCV+ result >=3 months prior (n=43), compared to IDUs who were HCV- at follow-up or unaware of their result (n=44). Results: To date among 226 IDUs, 61% were female and 64% were African American. Median age and age at initiation were 24 and 23 (range 11-30), respectively. Baseline prevalence of HCV and HIV were 60.5% and 10.7%, respectively; 7.5% were HCV-HIV co-infected. HCV incidence was 19.7 per 100 person-years (95% CI: 7.3, 30.5). Relative to IDUs who were HCV- or unaware of their serostatus, no significant differences were observed among those who reported needle sharing at follow-up versus baseline (-4.7% vs -11.4%, respectively, p=0.25), or condom use with casual partners (-4.7% vs -4.6%, respectively; p=0.98) and sex trade partners (-2.3% vs -4.6%, respectively, p=0.57). Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that young IDUs who recently received an HCV+ diagnosis were unlikely to reduce high-risk behaviors. Since persons who acquire HCV infection are at risk of transmitting HCV infection to others and acquiring HIV, methods other than routine notification and counseling must be developed.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant in this session will be able to: 1.List risk factors for HCV transmission 2.Discuss behavior change following disclosure of positive HCV+ to young, recently initiated IDUs

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Injection Drug Users

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: This project was funded, in part, by NIDA. NIDA provides support to me through a pre-doctoral minority supplement. The amount of this award is about $27,000 or so.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA