Understanding Correlates of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Homeless Recently Paroled Men

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Abstract

This cross-sectional study assessed predictors of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) positivity with baseline data collected on recently released male parolees (N = 157) participating in a randomized trial focused on reduction of drug use, recidivism, and risk for hepatitis and HIV infections. In this sample, the prevalence of HCV was 25%. The logistic regression analysis revealed that being an injection drug user was significantly related to HCV infection. However, contrary to most of the current literature, being Black had significantly lower odds of contracting HCV than their White counterparts. Moreover, having lived on the streets, not being part of a close family in childhood, and being older were also associated with HCV infection. These findings highlight the need for skilled assessments that target the vulnerabilities of homeless adults, especially those who have been incarcerated. Understanding drug use patterns, childhood networks, and family relationships, may assist in the design of interventions to reduce risky drug use and address behaviors derived from disadvantaged childhood.

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