A multilevel approach for assessing the variability of hepatitis C prevalence in injection drug users by their gathering places.

  • NgaiSze W
  • PuiChung C
  • ShuiShan L
  • et al.
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Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the variation in hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence in injection drug users (IDUs) by their gathering places, using a multilevel approach. Methods: IDUs recruited from their gathering places were invited to respond to a questionnaire on demographics, drug use history, injection behaviors, and methadone treatment. Dried blood spots were collected for HCV antibody testing by ELISA. Factors associated with the anti-HCV test result were explored by linear logistic regression, followed by the evaluation of heterogeneity between gathering places by multilevel analysis. Results: A total of 622 respondents from 19 gathering places in Hong Kong, recruited between August and September 2011, were evaluated. Anti-HCV seroprevalence was 81.7% (95% confidence interval 78.6-84.7%), ranging from 67% to 100% by gathering place. HCV infection was associated with current practice of injection, needle-sharing, and midazolam injection. On multilevel analysis, there was a modest but significant variation in HCV antibody prevalence by gathering place, adjusted by midazolam injection (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.91) and current injection (AOR 2.88) or injection over a long duration (AOR 3.17). Conclusions: There was heterogeneity in HCV antibody prevalence in IDUs by gathering place, while the influence of injection behaviors varied, suggesting interactivity between factors at the individual and group levels.

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NgaiSze, W., PuiChung, C., ShuiShan, L., SeeLong, L., & ChiKei, L. (2013). A multilevel approach for assessing the variability of hepatitis C prevalence in injection drug users by their gathering places. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Oxford. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971212012738

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