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Exploring associations between perceived HCV status and injecting risk behaviors among recent initiates to injecting drug use in Glasgow

Palmateer, N. and Anderson, N. and Wadd, S. and Hutchinson, S.J. and Taylor, A. and Goldberg, D.J. (2008) Exploring associations between perceived HCV status and injecting risk behaviors among recent initiates to injecting drug use in Glasgow. Substance Use and Misuse, 43 (3 & 4). pp. 375-388. ISSN 1082-6084

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the influence of testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and perceived HCV status on injecting risk behavior. A cross-sectional, community-wide survey was undertaken at multiple sites throughout Greater Glasgow during 2001-2002. Four hundred ninety-seven injecting drug users (IDUs) consented to participate and were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to ascertain HCV test history and injecting risk behavior. The average age of participants was 27 years and the majority of the sample were male (70.4%). Participants had been injecting for an average duration of 2.5 years. Logistic regression analysis revealed no significant associations between having been tested and injecting risk behavior. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, HCV-negatives were significantly less likely to borrow needles/syringes and spoons or filters as compared with unawares and were significantly less likely to borrow spoons or filters as compared with HCV-positives. Due to the cross-sectional design of the study, it is uncertain whether this reduction in risk behavior could be attributed to perception of HCV status. Further research is recommended to consolidate the evidence for this relationship.