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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2008 Jan;22(1):53-64.

A qualitative study among injection drug using women in Rhode Island: attitudes toward testing, treatment, and vaccination for hepatitis and HIV.

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Department of Medicine, Miriam Hospital/Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, USA.


HIV and hepatitis C virus infection are serious and prevalent health conditions among many women who inject drugs. Qualitative interviews with 20 injection drug using women at a short term drug treatment center in Rhode Island revealed six primary barriers and facilitators for testing and receiving results and treatment for hepatitis and HIV, as well as for hepatitis vaccination. The primary barriers were prioritization of drug use; low level of disease-specific knowledge; stigmatization; accessibility of testing, results and treatment; and psychological factors. The primary facilitator was interest in promoting one's health. Our findings indicate that injection drug using women experience multiple barriers to HIV and hepatitis testing, results, treatment and vaccination. Methods for improving the motivators for health, facilitating infectious disease prevention, and decreasing unnecessary disease complications of injection drug using women need to be utilized. These methods should include strategies that minimize stigma and facilitate accessibility of health care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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