The association between use of non-injection drug implements and hepatitis C virus antibody status in homeless and marginally housed persons in San Francisco

Keith A. Hermanstyne, David R. Bangsberg, Karen Hennessey, Cindy Weinbaum, Judith A. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Up to 17 000 persons in the USA became infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 2007, and many cases have unknown transmission routes. To date research on transmission of HCV via shared implements used to snort or smoke non-injection drugs has been inconclusive.MethodsWe tested stored sera for HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) in a large population-based study of homeless and marginally housed persons in San Francisco. We examined the association between sharing implements used for snorting and smoking drugs and anti-HCV while controlling for sociodemographic variables in those who denied everinjecting drugs (n 430). We also examined the association of anti-HCV status with history of incarceration, tattoo and piercing history, sexual history and alcohol consumption.ResultsSeventeen percent of our sample was anti-HCV positive. We found no statistically significant associations with sharing implements used to smoke or snort drugs with anti-HCV status in our various multivariate models. There was a statistically significant negative association between ever snorting cocaine and anti-HCV status (adjusted odds ratio: 0.39; 95 confidence interval: 0.210.73). There were no other statistically significant associations with any other measured covariates in multivariate analyses.ConclusionsOur findings suggest that sharing implements to snort or smoke drugs is not a significant risk factor for anti-HCV-positive status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-339
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • epidemiology
  • liver disorders
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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