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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 1;35(7):783-8. Epub 2002 Sep 3.

Lack of behavior change after disclosure of hepatitis C virus infection among young injection drug users in Baltimore, Maryland.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205 , USA.


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 chi(2) 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.

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