Prevalence, distribution, and correlates of hepatitis C virus infection among homeless adults in Los Angeles
ABSTRACT We documented the prevalence, distribution, and correlates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among urban homeless adults.
We sampled a community-based probability sample of 534 homeless adults from 41 shelters and meal programs in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, California. Participants were interviewed and tested for HCV, hepatitis B, and HIV. Outcomes included prevalence, distribution, and correlates of HCV infection; awareness of HCV positivity; and HCV counseling and treatment history.
Overall, 26.7% of the sample tested HCV-positive and 4.0% tested HIV-positive. In logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of HCV infection for the total sample included older age, less education, prison history, and single- and multiple-drug injection. Among lifetime drug injectors, independent predictors of HCV infection included older age, prison history, and no history of intranasal cocaine use. Among reported non-injectors, predictors of HCV infection included older age, less education, use of non-injection drugs, and three or more tattoos. Sexual behaviors and snorting or smoking drugs had no independent relationship with HCV infection. Among HCV-infected adults, nearly half (46.1%) were unaware of their infection.
Despite the high prevalence of HCV infection, nearly half of the cases were hidden and few had ever received any HCV-related treatment. While injection drug use was the strongest independent predictor, patterns of injection drug use, non-injection drug use, prison stays, and multiple tattoos were also independent predictors of HCV. Findings suggest that urgent interventions are needed to screen, counsel, and treat urban homeless adults for HCV infection.
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- "Injection drug users (IDUs) have a high prevalence of viral hepatitis A, B, and C infection (HAV, HBV, HCV) in the U.S. (Hutin et al. 2005; Kuo, Sherman, Thomas, & Strathdee, 2004; Hennessey, Bangsberg, Weinbaum, & Hahn, 2009; Nelson et al., 2011). However, many IDUs do not know their HAV, HBV, and HCV serostatus (Carey et al. 2005; Gelberg et al. 2012; Reimer et al. 2006; Roblin, Smith, Weinbaum, & Sabin, 2011; Southern et al. 2011), may miss opportunities for prevention, and may be more likely to transmit these viruses to both drug using contacts and to non-drug using sexual and close contacts (Kuo et al. 2004; Thiede et al. 2007). While drug treatment programs are an ideal setting for viral hepatitis education, viral hepatitis is poorly addressed in U.S. opioid replacement therapy programs. "
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational method of providing viral hepatitis education for methadone maintenance patients. Four hundred forty participants were randomly assigned to either a control or a motivationally-enhanced viral hepatitis education and counseling intervention. Viral hepatitis A (HAV), B (HBV), and C (HCV) knowledge tests were administered at baseline, following each of two education sessions (post-education), and at a 3-month follow-up assessment. Results indicated a significant increase in knowledge of HAV, HBV, and HCV over time. No differences were found in knowledge between the intervention groups in knowledge acquisition regarding any of the hepatitis viruses suggesting that a motivational interviewing style may not augment hepatitis knowledge beyond standard counseling. A two-session viral hepatitis education intervention effectively promotes hepatitis knowledge and can be integrated in methadone treatment settings.Journal of substance abuse treatment 01/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.jsat.2013.10.012 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Individuals who are homeless or living in marginal conditions have an elevated burden of infection with HIV. Existing research suggests the HIV/AIDS pandemic in resource-rich settings is increasingly concentrated among members of vulnerable and marginalized populations, including homeless/marginally-housed individuals, who have yet to benefit fully from recent advances in highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We reviewed the scientific evidence investigating the relationships between inferior housing and the health status, HAART access and adherence and HIV treatment outcomes of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA.) Studies indicate being homeless/marginally-housed is common among PLWHA and associated with poorer levels of HAART access and sub-optimal treatment outcomes. Among homeless/marginally-housed PLWHA, determinants of poorer HAART access/adherence or treatment outcomes include depression, illicit drug use, and medication insurance status. Future research should consider possible social- and structural-level determinants of HAART access and HV treatment outcomes that have been shown to increase vulnerability to HIV infection among homeless/marginally-housed individuals. As evidence indicates homeless/marginally-housed PLWHA with adequate levels of adherence can benefit from HAART at similar rates to housed PLWHA, and given the individual and community benefits of expanding HAART use, interventions to identify HIV-seropositive homeless/marginally-housed individuals, and engage them in HIV care including comprehensive support for HAART adherence are urgently needed.Current HIV/AIDS Reports 09/2012; 9(4). DOI:10.1007/s11904-012-0137-5
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ABSTRACT: In this study, the prevalence, genotype frequency, and risk factors for HCV infection in 384 cocaine users were determined. One hundred twenty-four (32.3 %) cocaine users had anti-HCV antibodies and 120 (31.3 %) had HCV-RNA. Genotyping results indicated the predominance of genotypes 1 (73.3 %) and 3 (26.7 %). Multivariate analysis showed an association of HCV infection with tattoos, shared use of paraphernalia, daily cocaine use, and a long history of cocaine use. The epidemiological aspects of HCV infection among cocaine users presented here should serve as an incentive for the establishment of a program of hepatitis C prevention and control by the local public-health authorities in the Amazon.Archives of Virology 02/2013; 158. DOI:10.1007/s00705-013-1627-5 · 2.28 Impact Factor