Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Housing Stability and Hepatitis C Infection for Young Adults Who Inject Drugs: Examining the Relationship of Consistent and Intermittent Housing Status on HCV Infection Risk


Housing status affects drug using behaviors, but less is known about the relationship between housing patterns and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. HCV-negative young people who inject drugs (PWID) were enrolled into a prospective cohort (2003-2019) with quarterly study visits. We used Cox regression to estimate the independent association of recent housing status (housed vs. unhoused, housing stability, and housing trajectory) on HCV incidence. Among 712 participants, 245 incident HCV infections occurred over 963.8 person-years (py) (cumulative incidence 24.4/100 py). An inverse relationship between time housed and HCV incidence was observed (always unhoused 45.0/100 py, 95% confidence interval (CI) 37.1, 54.5; variably housed 18.0/100 py, 95% CI 15.0, 21.3; and always housed 7.0/100 py, 95% CI 3.0, 17.3). In Cox regression models controlling for confounders, those unhoused versus housed at baseline had a 1.9-fold increased infection risk (95% CI 1.4, 2.6). Those always unhoused versus always housed had a 1.5 times greater risk of HCV (95% CI 1.0, 2.3), and those spending a portion of time in stable housing a lower risk (adjusted relative hazard 0.05, 95% CI 0.3, 0.9) with a similar trend for those being housed for less time. Young adult PWID experiencing both recent and chronic states of being unhoused are at elevated risk for HCV infection. Importantly for this group of PWID, our findings indicate that some frequency of residential housing significantly reduces HCV infection risk.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View