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Friday, April 10 • 9:50am - 10:30am
PS27.0 Knowledge and Risk of Hepatitis C Infection among Latino Criminal Justice Clients in Miami, Florida

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood borne viral infection in the United States. Over 4 million Americans suffer from HCV, yet 75% of them are unaware of their illness. Rates of infection are high among criminal justice clients with rates estimated between 20-40%, and Latinos report the highest HCV-related mortality of incarcerated individuals. The present study aims are two-fold: 1) to assess knowledge of HCV among Latino criminal justice clients according to their interest in being tested for HCV; and 2) to describe the association of drug use and being interested in HCV testing. Data collection is on-going; however, preliminary findings (n = 44) show 80% are male, the mean age is 33 years (SD=9). Sixteen percent did not finish high school, 34% completed high school/GED, and 50% had some college or more. Around 45% of participants were of Cuban origin. Around 80% of the participants were arrested more than once. Knowledge of HCV risk factors were generally not high in this sample. For example, around 57% did not know that drug use is associated with higher risk, only 45% were extremely certain that tattooing is a risk factor. However, over 75% recognized that having fewer partners is not an effective protective measure, and around 60% thought it can be transmitted by sharing razors and toothbrushes. The majority of the participants (70%) did not know whether there is an effective HCV vaccine or not. Around 60% of the participants were interested in receiving HCV testing, but those who reported one or more drug related arrests were less likely to want HCV testing. Implications of the findings will be discussed as it relates to improving HCV testing, as well as a description of a culturally-appropriate intervention that is being developed for this at risk population in Miami.


Rehab Auf

Florida International University

Friday April 10, 2015 9:50am - 10:30am EDT
Biscayne Ballroom (2nd floor)