The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4199.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #59755

Hepatitis B virus prevalence among drug using women and their risk network members in an inner city community

Maureen Miller, PhD1, Ted Fernandez, MS1, and Alan Neaigus, PhD2. (1) Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th Street, room 1210/12, New York City, NY 10032, 212-305-4651,, (2) Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor, New York City, NY 10010

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of a preventable infection, hepatitis B virus (HBV), in a cohort of African American women who use drugs and their risk network members. Methods: 127 index women who had used heroin, crack or cocaine in the past 30 days, and 54 risk network members (i.e., drug use or sex partners) were street recruited 5/02-12/02 in Central Brooklyn, NY. Subjects completed a structured interview assessing drug use and medical history and were serotested for HBV core antibody (HBV cAb). Results: The majority (~95%) of women and network members were African American, with mean ages of 37 (sd 7.5) for women and 42 (sd 9.1) for network members. The majority of network members were men (67%) and active drug users (89%). Approximately one third (32% of women and 43% of network members) reported IDU. HBV vaccination prevalence was low (13% of women and 17% of network members), despite reported medical attention in the past six months by 85% of subjects. Moreover, two thirds of subjects reported having medical insurance. Among the 146 (87%) who were unvaccinated, 90 tested HBV seropositive (64% of women and 56% of network members). Only 13% of women and 7% of network members knew themselves to be HBV infected. Moreover, 38% of the unvaccinated remained at risk of HBV infection. Conclusion: Half of the entire sample was HBV seropositive; most were unaware of their status. An opportunity to prevent HBV is being lost, since most subjects had recent medical attention and health insurance.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: African American, Hepatitis B

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Approaches to Population-based Assessment of Disease Prevalence

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA