Injection site infections and injuries in men who inject image- and performance-enhancing drugs: prevalence, risks factors, and healthcare seeking

V D Hope, J McVeigh, A Marongiu, M Evans-Brown, J Smith, A Kimergård, J V Parry, F Ncube
Epidemiology and Infection 2015, 143 (1): 132-40
People who inject drugs are vulnerable to infections and injuries at injection sites, but these have rarely been studied in those injecting image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs). This study examined the factors associated with reported symptoms of injection site infections and injuries in IPED injectors. Of the 366 male IPED injectors surveyed, 42% reported ever having redness, swelling and tenderness (36% in the preceding year), and 6·8% had ever had an abscess or open wound at an injection site. Having these symptoms was associated with a range of factors related to drug use and healthcare utilization. One sixth (17%) of those reporting redness, tenderness and swelling had ever sought treatment, as had the majority (76%) of those reporting an abscess, sore or open wound. Most common sources of advice were emergency clinics and General Practitioners. Interventions are needed to support access to appropriate injecting equipment and provide targeted harm reduction advice.


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