Author(s): Tortu S, McMahon JM, Pouget ER, Hamid R
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Abstract This study examined sharing noninjection drug implements as a risk factor for hepatitis C (HCV) infection among women drug users (n = 123) with no history of drug injection. Participants were street-recruited from East Harlem, New York City, between October 1997 and June 1999. Participants were administered a survey measuring risk factors for HCV. Prevalence of HCV and HIV infections was 19.5\% and 14.6\%, respectively. Multiple logistic regression determined significant associations between sharing noninjection drug-use implements and HCV infection. "Ever shared both oral and intranasal noninjection drug implements" was independently associated with HCV infection [Odds ratio (OR) 2.83; Confidence interval (CI) 1.04, 7.72; p = 0.04]; "ever shared noninjected heroin implements with an injector" was a trend (OR 3.06; CI .85, 10.79; p = 0.08). The strongest association between sharing noninjection drug-use implements and HCV infection was found among HIV positive individuals (chi2 = 8.8, 1 d.f., p < 0.01). These findings, if supported by future research, indicate a need to reassess policies regarding HCV infection.
This article was published in Subst Use Misuse
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy