Assessment of risky injection practices associated with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus and using the blood-borne virus transmission risk assessment questionnaire.
ABSTRACT Risky injection practices among injection drug users (IDUs) contribute to the spread of blood-borne infections such as human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The Blood-borne Virus Transmission Risk Assessment Questionnaire (BBV-TRAQ). was developed in Australia to determine risk behaviors for specific infections. Blood testing for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C was performed on all participants, and data on blood tests were linked to questionnaires. The BBV-TRAQ was administered to 242 current and former injection drug users in Long Beach, California, and the Long Beach data were compared with the original Australian data. In the comparison of the mean scores on the three subscales and total scores on the BBV-TRAQ between the samples, means for all three subscales and the total BBV-TRAQ score were significantly different, with Long Beach scores consistently lower than the Australian sample. The injecting and sexual risk subscales were significantly different across levels of AIDS risk perception for all three types of injectors; however, the other skin penetration practices subscale had no significant association with AIDS risk perception for any of the injection drug user groups. Despite recent efforts to educate injectors about the risks associated with practices captured by the other skin penetration practices subscale, such as tattooing and sharing razors, this subscale does not have an association with AIDS risk perception. injection drug users in Australia may have better access to health care, giving their self-report of infection greater validity than the California sample.