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Sex Transm Infect. Feb 2003; 79(1): e1.
PMCID: PMC1744588

Prevalence of and risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection among STD clinic clientele in Miami, Florida


Objectives: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood borne viral infection in the United States. We assessed the HCV prevalence, risk factors, and sensitivity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) routine screening criteria among clients of a large urban sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic.

Methods: Participants were recruited from a public STD clinic in Miami, Florida, and were interviewed regarding known and potential risk factors. The survey assessed CDC screening criteria, as well as other risk factors (for example, intranasal drug use, history of incarceration, exchanging sex for money, number of lifetime sex partners, and history of an STD). Testing was done by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and confirmed by recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA).

Results: The prevalence of anti-HCV positivity was 4.7%. Four variables were significantly associated with being anti-HCV positive, independent of confounding factors. These included injection drug use (odds ratio (OR) = 31.6; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 11.0 to 90.5); history of incarceration (OR = 3.0; 95% CI 1.1 to 8.1); sexual contact with an HCV positive person (OR 12.7; 95% CI 2.5 to 64.7); and older age (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.2, 1.6). The sensitivity of CDC's routine screening criteria was 69% and specificity was 91%.

Conclusions: The prevalence of anti-HCV in this clinic was similar to that determined in studies of comparable populations. Having sexual contact with an HCV positive person and history of incarceration were independently associated with being anti-HCV positive. CDC's screening criteria identified approximately two thirds of the anti-HCV positive participants.

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Selected References

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