Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Markers and risk factors for HCV, HBV and HIV in a network of injecting drug users in Melbourne

journal contribution
posted on 2009-05-01, 00:00 authored by Emma Miller, M Hellard, S Bowden, M Bhardwaj, C Aitken
Background and aims: Current injecting drug users (IDU) in major street drug markets within greater Melbourne were recruited to a longitudinal study on blood borne viruses. Here we investigated risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV infection in these IDU at the time of their recruitment.

Methods : Three hundred and eighty-two IDU completed detailed questionnaires on their drug use and risk behaviours, and provided blood samples for serology testing. These data were analysed using univariate and multivariate techniques.

Results
: The overall prevalence of exposure to HCV, HBV and HIV was estimated at 70%, 34% and <1%, respectively. Independent predictors of HCV exposure were history of imprisonment (RR 1.34, 95% CI 1.19–1.52), use of someone else's needle or syringe (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.07–1.42), >7.6 years length of time injecting (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.07–1.37), and originating from Vietnam (RR 1.12, 95% CI 1.07–1.18). Independent predictors of HBV exposure were HCV exposure (RR 2.15, 95% CI 1.35–3.43), >7.6 years length of time injecting (RR 1.57, 95% CI 1.17–2.13) and originating from outside Australia (RR 1.60, 95% CI 1.22–2.10). Neither prison- nor community-applied tattoos predicted HCV or HBV exposure. Up to 31% of IDU who injected for 1 year or less were HCV antibody positive, as were 53% of those who injected for 2 years or less.

Conclusions : Ongoing engagement with young IDU, through the provision of harm reduction education and resources, is critical if we are to address blood borne viral infections and other health and social harms associated with injecting drug use.

History

Journal

Journal of infection

Volume

58

Issue

5

Pagination

375 - 382

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0163-4453

eISSN

1532-2742

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, The British Infection Society