Prevalence and correlates of hepatitis C among in jection drug users: The significance of duration of use, incarceration, and race/ ethnicity

William W. Latimer, Sarra L. Hedden, Anne Gloria Moleko, Leah Floyd, April Lawson, Alexander Melnikov, S. Geoffrey Severtson, Kristin Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study examined associations between hepatitis C (HCV) seropositivity and a lifetime history of jail or correctional facility incarceration among injection drug users. The sample consisted of 351 injection drug users recruited in inner-city neighborhoods of Baltimore. Multiple logistic regressions were fit to assess associations between HCV seropositivity and a lifetime history of incarceration for the total sample and stratified by race. Analyses demonstrated HCV nearly two times greater for whites than African Americans. In addition, HCV was 2.6 times greater in participants incarcerated in correctional facilities and HCV was 7.4 times greater in participants reporting more than 5 years of injection drug use compared to participants reporting less than 1 year of injection drug use. The study findings suggest that incorporating systematic HCV screening, prevention, and treatment programs within correctional systems represents a vital yet under-utilized strategy to reduce HCV transmission in society as a whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-904
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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