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Hepatitis C virus infection among homeless men referred from a community clinic.


In this study of factors related to Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in 104 homeless HCV-infected men and 94 uninfected homeless men, findings reveal that homeless men with HCV infection are older and more likely to be cocaine injectors than those not infected. Moreover, the sharing of needles, use of injected cocaine during the past 6 months, previous incarceration, veteran status, fair or poor health, and having multiple tattoos are also associated with HCV infection. Reports of having completed the HBV vaccination series, weekly marijuana use, and snorting cocaine or methamphetamine are negatively associated with HCV infection. Among men not reporting lifetime injection drug use, factors such as sharing toothbrushes, having multiple tattoos, being in fair or poor health, and past incarceration are associated with HCV infection. These findings may need to be considered when making screening decisions and counseling homeless male patients about HCV.

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