Seroprevalence of HIV, hepatitis B virus, and HCV among injection drug users in Connecticut: Understanding infection and coinfection risks in a nonurban population

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Public Health








Objectives. We examined HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and HCV sero prevalence in an interim analysis and the potential risk factors associated with these infections among injection drug users (IDUs) residing in nonurban communities of south western Connecticut. Methods. We recruited and interviewed active adult IDUs about their injection associated risk and conducted serological tests for HIV, HBV, and HCV. Regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors for infection and coinfection. Results. Among 446 participants, 51.6% carried at least 1 infection, and 16.3% were coinfected. Infection risk was associated with longer duration of injection use, overdose, substance abuse treatment, depression, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Co infection was associated with longer injection drug use, lower education, overdose, and criminal justice involvement. Multivariate models identified injection drug use duration, substance abuse treatment, and criminal justice involvement as the most significant predictors of infection; injection drug use duration and education were the most significant predictors of coinfection. Conclusions. Suburban IDUs are at significant risk for acquiring single and multiple viral infections. Effective harm reduction strategies are needed to reach users early. There might be roles for interventions in the treatment and justice systems in which IDUs interact.