Injecting and sexual risk correlates of HBV and HCV seroprevalence among new drug injectors

Alan Neaigus, V. Anna Gyarmathy, Maureen Miller, Vera Frajzyngier, Mingfang Zhao, Samuel R. Friedman, Don C.Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine injecting and sexual risk correlates of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) seroprevalence among new injecting drug users (IDUs) (age 18-30 years, injecting ≤6 years). Participants were interviewed/serotested (HIVab, HBVcAb, HCVab) in New York City, February 1999-February 2003. Gender-stratified, multivariate logistic regression was conducted. Participants (N = 259) were: 68% male; 81% white. Women were more likely to test HCV seropositive (42% versus 27%) and men HBV seropositive (24% versus 12%); HIV seroprevalence was low (3%). Among both men and women, HBV seropositivity was associated with ever selling sex, and HCV seropositivity with ever having had infected (HIV, HBV or HCV) sex partners (among those ever sharing injecting equipment). Among women only, HBV seropositivity was associated with ever having had infected sex partners (regardless of ever sharing injecting equipment), and HCV seropositivity with ≥300 lifetime drug injections. Among men only, HCV seropositivity was associated with ≥40 lifetime number of sex partners (among those never sharing injecting equipment). In this new IDU sample, HBV and HCV seroprevalence differed by gender and were considerably higher than HIV seroprevalence. Early interventions, targeting injecting and sexual risks and including HBV vaccination, are needed among new IDUs to prevent HBV, HCV and, potentially, HIV epidemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 10 2007


  • Drug injectors
  • HBV
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Injecting risk
  • Sexual risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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