Monday, December 28, 2015

Hepatitis C and HIV in Injecting Drug Users in Armenia, Colombia

 A constant and progressive increase in the availability of heroin in Colombia in recent decades and the intravenous use  of this drug have established the need to prevent a possible epidemic of HIV and hepatitis C. 

This research determined the sero-prevalence of hepatitis C and HIV according to sociodemographic characteristics and risk behaviors in people who inject drugs in Armenia, Colombia. 

This is a cross-sectional study on 265 users captured through respondent-driven sampling after informed consent. 
  • Sero-prevalence of hepatitis C was 22.3%; 
  • for HIV infection, it was 2.6 %; 
  • 67.5% reported injecting for more than two years, 
  • 35 % shared needles and syringes, and 
  • 12.4 % had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. 
Users who did not purchase syringes in drugstores in the last six months are 2.7 times more likely to contract hepatitis C; daily injection frequency was higher in HIV- positive cases [OR 2.87; 95% CI 0.55 to 15.9] but nonsignificant. One fourth of respondents are infected with HIV or hepatitis C, either as a single infection or co-infection. 

This study identified risk practices such as sharing needles and low condom use in the last six months, worldwide documented and discussed risk factors. This research is a first step in the search for strategies to prevent the spread of HIV infection and hepatitis C in networks of injecting drug users.

Full PDF article [in English] at:
Full PDF article [in Spanish] at:

1Universidad CES.

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