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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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

  • Author(s): Asher, Alice K
  • Zhong, Yuna
  • Garfein, Richard S
  • Cuevas-Mota, Jazmine
  • Teshale, Eyasu
  • et al.

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.

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