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      Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in young people who inject drugs in four Colombian cities: A cross-sectional study using Respondent Driven Sampling

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          <div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S1"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d1050271e177">Background:</h5> <p id="P1">Colombia has a growing population of young people who inject drugs (PWID). Despite the previously reported association of injection drug use with hepatitis c virus (HCV) in other countries, studies on HCV prevalence in PWID in Colombia are lacking. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence, demographics, and correlations of risky injection behaviours in HCV seropositive PWID in four Colombian cities (Armenia, Bogotá, Cúcuta and Pereira). </p> </div><div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S2"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d1050271e182">Methods:</h5> <p id="P2">This was a cross-sectional study carried out between January and June of 2014 that included 918 PWID from four Colombian cities, recruited by Respondent Driven Sampling. A survey was administered to each participant, and blood samples were collected. Binary logistic regression and multivariate analyses for each city were conducted. </p> </div><div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S3"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d1050271e187">Results:</h5> <p id="P3">Average participant age was 26 years (SD 6.5). Of all participants, 27.3% of PWID were HCV seropositive, of which 52% were 25 years old or younger. In Pereira, increased risk of HCV infection was found for PWID that: had a history of injection drug use of 5 years or more (AOR: 3.0, CI: 1.7–7.8); were between 25 and 28 years of age (AOR: 5.2, CI: 1.0–26.3); had higher injection frequency (AOR: 2.5, CI: 1.4–4.2), and daily use of gifted, sold, or rented needles or syringes (AOR: 4.5, CI: 1.0–7.1). Additionally, in Cucuta, being HIV seropositive appeared to be greatly associated with risk of HCV seropositivity (AOR: 16.9, CI: 3.5–81.5). </p> </div><div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S4"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d1050271e192">Conclusion:</h5> <p id="P4">Although prevalence of HCV in PWID in Colombia is lower than that reported for other countries, the described demographic characteristics and diverse risky injection behaviors on each city, in the context of a young PWID population with a short injection drug use history, should be taken into account in order to guide efforts towards preventing and reducing risk of HCV infection in PWID in Colombia. </p> </div>

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          International Journal of Drug Policy
          International Journal of Drug Policy
          Elsevier BV
          October 2018
          October 2018
          : 60
          : 56-64
          © 2018


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