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

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

4241.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 5:15 PM

Abstract #70530

Injection-related risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection among young injection drug users in Baltimore

Elizabeth T. Golub, PhD, MPH1, Jennifer R Havens, MPH2, Carl A Latkin, PhD3, Karen Y. Hobelmann, MPH1, Richard S Garfein, PhD, MPH4, Susan G. Sherman, MPH, PhD2, and Steffanie A. Strathdee, PhD2. (1) Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, 627 N. Washington Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, 410-955-4397,, (2) Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, (3) Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N Broadway, Room 737, Baltimore, MD 21205, (4) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS E-45, Atlanta, GA 30333

Background: The most common vehicle for transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among injection drug users (IDUs) is sharing injection equipment (e.g., needles, cottons). To date, however, sharing rinse water has not demonstrated an independent effect on the risk of HCV infection after accounting for sharing needles and other equipment. We examined these correlates of HCV infection among young IDUs. Methods: Subjects were IDUs aged 15-30 participating in the Baltimore site of the Collaborative Injection Drug Users Study (CIDUS-III). Participants underwent a baseline survey and HIV and HCV antibody testing. Behaviors of HCV-negative and HCV-positive IDUs were compared using chi-square analysis, t-tests and logistic regression. Results: Of 342 participants to date, 106 (31%) were HCV-infected, 65.1% male, 71.6% Caucasian, and median age was 25. Median duration of injection was longer among HCV-infected participants (5 versus 4 years, p=0.01). Sharing needles (64.1% vs 50.7%, p=0.03), cotton (77.1% vs 64.8%, p=0.03), water (81.6% vs 64.6%, p=0.002), but not cookers (p>0.05), was more prevalent among HCV-infected participants. Sharing water (aOR=2.88, 95%CI: 1.02-8.11) was independently associated with HCV infection, adjusting for age, gender, duration of injection, and sharing needles, cotton and cookers. Restricting to those denying needle sharing (N=148), the association between HCV infection and sharing rinse water persisted (aOR=5.29; 95%CI: 1.28-21.96) after controlling for the above factors. Conclusions: In this cohort of IDUs, sharing rinse water was independently associated with HCV infection, over and above other injection equipment. Prevention messages should stress the importance of contamination to reduce HCV transmission risks among IDUs.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Injection Drug Users

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.

Risk Behaviors and HIV, HBV, and HCV Injections Among Young Adult IDUs: CIDUS III/Drug Users Intervention Trial

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