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BMJ Open. 2014 May 29;4(5):e004988. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004988.

Higher risk of incident hepatitis C virus among young women who inject drugs compared with young men in association with sexual relationships: a prospective analysis from the UFO Study cohort.

Author information

1
Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California, USA.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California, USA.
4
University of California, School of Medicine, Positive Health Program San Francisco General Hospital San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Female injection drug users (IDUs) may report differences in injection behaviours that put them at greater risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Few studies have examined these in association with HCV incidence.

METHODS:

Longitudinal data from a cohort of 417 HCV-uninfected IDU aged 30 or younger were analysed. Cox proportional hazards was used to model female sex as a predictor of new HCV infection. General estimating equation (GEE) analysis was used to model female sex as a predictor of HCV-associated risk behaviour prospectively.

RESULTS:

Women were significantly more likely than men to become infected with HCV during study follow-up (HR 1.4, p<0.05), and were also more likely than men to report high-risk injecting behaviours, especially in the context of sexual and injecting relationships. Sex differences in injecting behaviours appeared to explain the relationship between sex and HCV infection.

CONCLUSIONS:

Young women's riskier injection practices lead to their higher rates of HCV infection. Further study on the impact of intimate partnership on women's risk behaviour is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Public Health

PMID:
24875490
PMCID:
PMC4039809
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2014-004988
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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