141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Risk behaviors associated with HIV, HBV, and HCV infection among opioid-dependent individuals under criminal justice supervision

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:32 AM - 9:50 AM

Mary Mbaba, MPH , Department of Criminology, Law, and Society, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Suneeta Kumari, MPH, MD , Department of Psychiatry, Howard University, Washington, DC, DC
Alese Wooditch, MA , Department of Criminology, Law, and Society, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Amy Murphy, MPP , Department of Criminology, Law, and Society, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, Afghanistan
Faye S. Taxman, PhD , Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
William Lawson, MD, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, Howard University, Washington, DC, DC
Frederick Altice, MA, MD , Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Risky health behaviors are prevalent among substance abusers, leading to higher incidences of HIV, Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV) within this population. Commercial sex work and other high-risk sexual behaviors are common among substance abusers. Furthermore, infectious diseases and substance use disorders are disproportionately represented among those under criminal justice supervision. Opiate abuse exacerbates HIV and HCV disease progression by compromising immune responses. In Washington, DC, an estimated 3.2% of the population is living with HIV/AIDS, the highest incidence in the nation with injection drug (ID) use as a leading transmission mode. HBV and HCV share common risk factors as HIV, often resulting in co-infection. The present study relies on a sample of opioid-dependent individuals under community supervision in DC (n=130). Within the preliminary sample, 15 (12%) self-reported HIV positive (53% of whom report co-infection) and 36 (28%) self-reported HBV/HCV infection. The relationship between risky health behaviors (i.e. injection drug use, unprotected sex, and commercial sex work) and the incidence of HIV and HBV/HCV were examined using Chi-Square statistics. HIV positive individuals were significantly more likely to self-report ever being arrested or charged with prostitution (x=5.32; p<0.05); however, less likely to self-report recent unprotected sex (x=4.13; p<.05); whereas, those who self reported HBV/HCV were more likely to report ever being an ID user both in their lifetime (x=28.26; p<0.05) and in the past 30 days (x=12.05; P<.01). Addressing risk factors of HIV, HBV, and HCV among at-risk populations may decrease overall prevalence and may inform strategic public health policies and drug treatment options.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify high risk behaviors among opioid-dependent persons who are under probation, parole, or pre-trial services in Washington, DC. Compare and contrast behavioral risk correlates among those who are HIV and HBV/HCV seropositive.

Keywords: Drug Abuse Treatment, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a research assistant on mutltiple grant-funded projects focusing on community health, health disparities, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and criminally-involved populations. I am a current faculty research associate working on Project STRIDE, a joint research collaboration between Howard, George Mason and Yale Universities that addresses substance abuse treatment and the management of HIV care among individuals under criminal justice supervision in Washington, DC.
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.