Unmet Health Care Needs and Hepatitis C Infection Among Persons Who Inject Drugs in Denver and Seattle, 2009

Unmet Health Care Needs and Hepatitis C Infection Among Persons Who Inject Drugs in Denver and... Persons who inject drugs (PWID) shoulder the greater part of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic in the USA. PWID are also disproportionately affected by limited access to health care and preventative services. We sought to compare current health care coverage, HCV, and HIV testing history, hepatitis A and B vaccination coverage, and co-occurring substance use among PWID in two US cities with similar estimated numbers of PWID. Using data from the 2009 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system in Denver (n = 428) and Seattle (n = 507), we compared HCV seroprevalence and health care needs among PWID. Overall, 73 % of participants who tested for HCV antibody were positive. Among those who were HCV antibody-positive, vaccination coverage for hepatitis A and B was low (43 % in Denver and 34 % in Seattle) and did not differ significantly from those who were antibody-negative. Similarly, participation in alcohol or drug treatment programs during the preceding 12 months was not significantly higher among those who were HCV antibody-positive in either city. Significantly fewer participants in Denver had health care coverage compared to Seattle participants (45 vs. 67 %, p < 0.001). However, more participants in Seattle reported being disabled for work and, thus, more likely to be receiving health care coverage through the federal Medicaid program. In both cities, the vast majority of those who were aware of their HCV infection reported not receiving treatment (90 % in Denver and 86 % in Seattle). Our findings underscore the need to expand health care coverage and preventative medical services for PWID. Furthermore, our findings point to the need to develop comprehensive and coordinated care programs for infected individuals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Prevention Science Springer Journals

Unmet Health Care Needs and Hepatitis C Infection Among Persons Who Inject Drugs in Denver and Seattle, 2009

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Society for Prevention Research
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Health Psychology; Child and School Psychology
ISSN
1389-4986
eISSN
1573-6695
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11121-014-0500-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Persons who inject drugs (PWID) shoulder the greater part of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic in the USA. PWID are also disproportionately affected by limited access to health care and preventative services. We sought to compare current health care coverage, HCV, and HIV testing history, hepatitis A and B vaccination coverage, and co-occurring substance use among PWID in two US cities with similar estimated numbers of PWID. Using data from the 2009 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system in Denver (n = 428) and Seattle (n = 507), we compared HCV seroprevalence and health care needs among PWID. Overall, 73 % of participants who tested for HCV antibody were positive. Among those who were HCV antibody-positive, vaccination coverage for hepatitis A and B was low (43 % in Denver and 34 % in Seattle) and did not differ significantly from those who were antibody-negative. Similarly, participation in alcohol or drug treatment programs during the preceding 12 months was not significantly higher among those who were HCV antibody-positive in either city. Significantly fewer participants in Denver had health care coverage compared to Seattle participants (45 vs. 67 %, p < 0.001). However, more participants in Seattle reported being disabled for work and, thus, more likely to be receiving health care coverage through the federal Medicaid program. In both cities, the vast majority of those who were aware of their HCV infection reported not receiving treatment (90 % in Denver and 86 % in Seattle). Our findings underscore the need to expand health care coverage and preventative medical services for PWID. Furthermore, our findings point to the need to develop comprehensive and coordinated care programs for infected individuals.

Journal

Prevention ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 27, 2014

References

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