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Injection drug use and multiple infections

Dennis G. Fisher, PhD1, Grace L. Reynolds, DPA(c)1, Carol Itatani, PhD2, and Catherine M. Branson, BA1. (1) Center for Behavioral Research & Services, California State University, Long Beach, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813, 562-495-2330, dfisher@csulb.edu, (2) Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840

Background: In addition to HIV, hepatitis A, B, and C are prevalent infections among injection drug users (IDUs). All four infections are associated with the IDU lifestyle. It would be useful to estimate the distribution of multiple infections in this population. Methods: A mobile testing program has been able to perform both HIV and hepatitis testing among injection drug users along the coast of Los Angeles County, California. The Risk Behavior Assessment (RBA) was the structured interview used to collect information on drug and sex risk behavior. By constructing an index with a range of 0 to 4 possible infections, we are able to model correlates associated with number of infections. Results: 37% of the sample had 3 out of the four possible infections. A regression model accounting for 33% of the variance included age, trading drugs for sex, number of times injected in the last 30 days, and ever use of speedball as risk factors. Protective factors are amount of education, and ever use of amphetamines. Those who had ever used heroin, Black compared to White IDUs, and male gender also showed a higher number of infections on bivariate analysis. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate more infections than we expected in this population. Health care providers treating individuals who have ever injected should assess for multiple infections when treating this population.

Learning Objectives: The participant will be able to

Keywords: Drug Injectors, Infectious Diseases

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.

Injection Drug Use and Youth Poster Session

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA