Social Networks, Stigma, and Hepatitis C Care Among Women Who Inject Drugs: Findings from A Community Recruited Sample

A. A. Jones, K. E. Schneider, O. Falade-Nwulia, G. Sterner, K. Tobin, C. A. Latkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores the role of perceived HCV stigma and social networks on HCV care among people who inject drugs (PWID) of both sexes, and solely among women who inject drugs (WWID). Data were from 269 HCV positive PWID, community-recruited through street-based outreach in Baltimore, MD. We defined HCV stigma based on participants’ perceptions of treatment by others and their need to conceal their HCV status. Among WWID, HCV stigma was linked with decreased odds of undergoing liver disease staging (aOR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.13,0.85) or to have attempted to get the HCV cure (aOR = 0.39, CI: 0.16,0.97), these associations were not evident in the overall sample with both sexes. Social network characteristics were significant correlates of HCV care in the overall sample, and these associations were stronger among WWID. WWID with more HCV positive social network members had higher odds of an HCV-related healthcare visit in the prior 12 months (aOR = 4.28, CI: 1.29,14.17) and to have undergone liver disease staging (aOR = 2.85, CI: 1.01,8.05). WWID with more social network members aware of the HCV cure were more likely to report an attempt at obtaining the HCV cure (aOR = 5.25, CI: 1.85,14.89). Our results suggest complexity in the role of social networks and stigma on HCV care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-470
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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