The Injection Drug Users Health Alliance (IDUHA) is a coalition of New York City based syringe access programs. In October 2013, IDUHA created a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) sub-committee to conduct a city-wide survey of syringe exchange participants. The purpose of the survey was to gather data on harm reduction service access and utilization, health status, healthcare utilization, drug use, overdose, insurance, and care coordination to demonstrate the impact of harm reduction programs in New York City.
The survey was a cross-sectional survey of clients of 14 Syringe Exchange Programs in New York City. Below is a synopsis of Hep C findings. Read the entire report here.
- 91% of all harm reduction participants have been tested for HCV; almost two-thirds (62%) were screened within the past 6 months including 28% who were tested within the past month at their harm reduction program.
- Over a third (38%) of harm reduction participants who have been tested for HCV had a positive test result on their most recent test; women were 30% less likely than men to test positive for HCV and risk of HCV infection increased with age.
- Hepatitis C status varied significantly by race and ethnicity: Black participants were 60% less likely than other groups to have screened positive for HCV.
- Those who have ever injected drugs were 8.8 times more likely to test positive for HCV; those who injected in the past 3 months were 40% more likely than past injectors to be HCV positive.
- Other risk factors for HCV infection include unstable housing (1.3 times greater risk), current cocaine or heroin use (1.9 times greater risk), and reusing injection paraphernalia, especially cottons and cookers (3.5 times greater risk).