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THE ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH-CARE USE AND HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTION IN A RANDOM SAMPLE OF URBAN SLUM COMMUNITY RESIDENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA

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  • 1 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Y.R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

To determine whether health-care use was associated with prevalent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Chennai, India, 1,947 adults from 30 slum communities were randomly selected to be interviewed about parenteral and sexual risks for HCV infection and to provide biological specimens for HCV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing. Prevalent HCV infection was detected in 2.4% of non-injection drug using (IDU) participants. Controlling for other associated factors, and excluding IDU, men who used informal health-care providers were five times as likely to be HCV infected as those who did not use informal providers (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR = 5.83; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.57, 21.6), a finding not detected in women. More research is needed to determine the extent to which HCV infection is associated with reuse of contaminated injection equipment in health-care settings in developing countries.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Melissa A. Marx, Bureau of Communicable Disease, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth St., Room 318, New York, NY 10013, Telephone: 212–788–4220, Fax: 212–788–5470, E-mail: mmarx@health.nyc.gov
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