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Association of Self-Reported Abscess With High-Risk Injection-Related Behaviors Among Young Persons Who Inject Drugs

Asher, Alice K., RN, PhD*; Zhong, Yuna, MSPH; Garfein, Richard S., MD, PhD; Cuevas-Mota, Jazmine, MPH; Teshale, Eyasu, MD

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: March-April 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 142–150
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000016
Research Article
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Abscess is a common source of morbidity for people who inject drugs. We used data from the Study to Assess Hepatitis C Risk to measure prevalence of abscess and identify factors associated with the history of abscess. Of 541 participants, 388 (72%) were male and 149 (28%) were female. Almost half (n = 258, 48%) reported ever having an abscess. Persons who inject drugs with an abscess history were significantly more likely to have more injection partners (p = .01), inject heroin daily (p < .05), and share cookers (p = .001) and less likely to report using new syringes with each injection (p = .02). Most reported self-treating their last abscess and increasing drug use when having an abscess. High-risk injection-related activity was associated not only with infections such as HIV and hepatitis C virus but also with abscess. Nurses should screen patients presenting with abscess for high-risk practices and provide prevention education.

Alice Asher, RN, PhD, is an Epidemiologist, Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Yuna Zhong, MSPH, is a Statistician, Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Richard S. Garfein, MD, PhD, is a Professor, Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA. Jazmine Cuevas-Mota, MPH, is a Project Coordinator, Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA. Eyasu Teshale, MD, is a Team Lead and Acting Branch Chief in the Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Corresponding author: Alice K. Asher, e-mail: luq1@cdc.gov

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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