Journal Article

Lack of Behavior Change after Disclosure of Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Young Injection Drug Users in Baltimore, Maryland

Danielle C. Ompad, Crystal M. Fuller, David Vlahov, David Thomas and Steffanie A. Strathdee

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 35, issue 7, pages 783-788
Published in print October 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/342063
Lack of Behavior Change after Disclosure of Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Young Injection Drug Users in Baltimore, Maryland

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We evaluated behavior change after disclosure of a positive hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody test result among a cohort of young injection drug users (IDUs). Participants underwent semiannual interviews, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HCV antibody testing, and pretest and posttest counseling. We used χ2 statistics to study changes in the frequencies of high-risk behaviors from baseline to a 6-month follow-up visit among 46 IDUs who had a positive HCV test result and among 60 IDUs who did not have a positive HCV test result or who were unaware of their test result. No significant differences were detected between the 2 groups. Both groups continued to share syringes, needles, and other injection paraphernalia. These findings suggest that young IDUs may not be aware of the risk of HCV infection and highlight the urgent need for post–HCV test guidelines and behavioral interventions to reduce ongoing high-risk behavior that perpetuates the risk of HCV transmission.

Journal Article.  3753 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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