Risk of transmission associated with sharing drug injecting paraphernalia: analysis of recent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection using cross-sectional survey data

N Palmateer, S Hutchinson, G McAllister, A Munro, S Cameron, D Goldberg, A Taylor
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 2014, 21 (1): 25-32
Sharing injecting paraphernalia (containers, filters and water) poses a risk of transmitting the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The prevalence of, and risk of HCV from, such behaviour has not been extensively reported in Europe. People who inject drugs (PWID) were recruited in cross-sectional surveys from services providing sterile injecting equipment across Scotland between 2008 and 2010. Participants completed a questionnaire and provided a blood spot for anonymous testing. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between recent HCV infection (anti-HCV negative and HCV-RNA positive) and self-reported measures of injecting equipment sharing in the 6 months preceding interview. Twelve per cent of the sample reported sharing needles/syringes, and 40% reported sharing paraphernalia in the previous 6 months. The adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for sharing needles/syringes (+/- paraphernalia), and sharing only paraphernalia in the last 6 months were 6.7 (95% CI 2.6-17.1) and 3.0 (95% CI 1.2-7.5), respectively. Among those who reported not sharing needles/syringes, sharing containers and filters were both significantly associated with recent HCV infection (AOR 3.1, 95% CI 1.3-7.8 and 3.1, 95% CI 1.3-7.5, respectively); sharing water was not. We present the first study to apply a cross-sectional approach to the analysis of the association between sharing paraphernalia and incident HCV infection and demonstrate consistent results with previous longitudinal studies. The prevalence of paraphernalia sharing in our study population is high, representing significant potential for HCV transmission.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"