218995 Prevalence and predictors of HCV related risk behaviors in recent and prolonged injection drug users in Metropolitan San Juan, Puerto Rico

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hesmy Sánchez, BSc and student of MSc in Epidemiology , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health., University of Puerto Rico, Cabo Rojo, PR
Juan C. Reyes, EdD, MS , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Gilberto Ramos, DrPH , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Hector Colón, PhD , Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Considering that Puerto Ricans are undergoing a public health problem with respect to HCV infection, an endemic infection among injecting drug users (IDUs) in response to risk behaviors conducted, and that there is a high frequency of drug injection in settings where sterile injection equipment are low, it is essential to understand the burden of risk behaviors and its correlates. This study assessed the prevalence of risk behaviors within recent and prolonged IDUs (study groups) and examined correlates of risk behaviors in IDUs aged 18 years at least living in the San Juan Metropolitan Area. We analyzed data from the cross-sectional study, entitled 'The PR drug abuse research development program' that used a sample of 400 IDUs. IDUs were classified as recent (<3 years of injection) and prolonged (>3 years of injection). Overall prevalence of sharing water within study groups was 48% and 63.3%, respectively; prevalence of sharing a cooker within study groups was 50% and 66.7%, respectively; and prevalence of sharing syringes within study groups was 28.4% and 37%, respectively. Binary logistic regression showed that prolonged injectors were more likely to share water, the cooker and syringes compared to recent injectors after adjusting for gender and homelessness (OR:1.86; 95%CI:1.18-2.93, OR:2.03; 95%CI:1.28-3.22 and OR:1.53; 95%CI:0.93-2.51, respectively). Comprehensive efforts to prevent risky practices should address social and environmental contexts of injection, considering differences in IDUs according to their years of injection.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify the barriers associated to injection drug use prevention in PR. 2. Evaluate the importance of considering the years of injection in predicting risk behaviors related to HCV. 3. Discuss the importance of the factors associated to HCV related risk behaviors among recent and prolonged IDUs in the island in the development of additional injection drug use research as well as in injection drug use prevention and control strategies in PR.

Keywords: Intravenous Drug Use, Hepatitis C

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a current student of Master of Science degree in Epidemiology at UPR-RCM., who is performing her Masters theses in Injection Drug Use and HCV. Furthermore, I had different extracurricular experiences, such as being involve in the data collection of an environmental study sponsored by EPA (Interviewer for the National Beaches Survey) and in performing a research as a Dr. James A. Ferguson Research Fellow 2008 (Development of a serotype-specific assay for the detection of dengue virus NS1 in human serum.). This research was sponsored by CDC and AMHPS. Currently, I am the research coordinator of a pilot study based on metabolic syndrome in adolescents (Relation of body mass index to future risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer in Puerto Rican adolescents: An evaluation of the contribution by adipocytokines, insulin resistance and inflammation; PI: C.M.Perez, PhD; CoPI: A.P.Ortiz, PhD). This pilot study will be conducted at the RCM-CRC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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