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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Apr 15;40 Suppl 5:S304-12.

Factors associated with interest in initiating treatment for hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection among young HCV-infected injection drug users.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Division of International Health and Cross-Cultural Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California 92093, USA.



We sought to identify factors associated with interest in receiving therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among HCV-infected injection drug users (IDUs) in 3 United States cities.


IDUs aged 18-35 years who were HCV-infected and seronegative for human immunodeficiency virus underwent surveys on behaviors, experience, and interest in treatment for HCV infection and readiness to quit drug use.


Among treatment-naive IDUs (n=216), 81.5% were interested in treatment for HCV infection, but only 27.3% had seen a health-care provider since receiving a diagnosis of HCV infection. Interest in treatment for HCV infection was greater among IDUs with a high perceived threat of progressive liver disease, those with a usual source of care, those without evidence of alcohol dependence, and those with higher readiness scores for quitting drug use. Interest in treatment for HCV infection was 7-fold higher among IDUs who were told by their health-care provider that they were at risk for cirrhosis or liver cancer.


Improving provider-patient communication and integrating treatments for substance abuse and HCV may increase the proportion of IDUs who initiate treatment for HCV infection.

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