Female people who inject drugs (PWID) exposed to opioid agonist therapy (OAT) are twice as likely to acquire hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection than their male counterparts, a new study found. Researchers assessed sex disparities in HCV incidence among PWID exposed to OAT and factors independently associated with decreased protective efficacy. They found:
- HCV incidence was 16.5 person-years observation (PYO) in females and 7.6 PYO in males among 701 participants exposed to OAT over 3,003 visits and 1,427 PYO.
- Factors associated with HCV acquisition among females exposed to OAT included nonwhite race, recent unstable housing, recent daily or more frequent injection, and recent receptive syringe sharing.
- Interventions that target women are required to bolster the efficacy of OAT in preventing HCV transmission.
Geddes L, Iversen J, Wand H, et al. Sex discrepancies in the protective effect of opioid agonist therapy on incident hepatitis C infection. [Published online ahead of print February 28, 2019]. Clin Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/cid/ciz162.
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Sex Discrepancies in OAT Effect on Incident HCV, Clin Infect Dis; ePub 2019 Feb 28; Geddes, et al