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

Journal of Viral Hepatitis
Norah PalmateerA Taylor


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 w...Continue Reading


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