Poly-Drug Use And Unsafe Sexual Health Seeking Behaviour Amongst Young Women Who Inject Drugs Living With Viral Hepatitis : A Case Study Across Five (5) High Risk Local Government Areas In Lagos, Nigeria.

Author: James Eghaghe, Francisca Monyei

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2023

Poly-drug use is linked to unintended high incidence of viral hepatitis B &C and other sexually transmitted infections. Evidence relating to increased drug –related harm amongst Young Women living with Hepatitis B &C in lieu with descriptive patterns of poly-drug use (methamphetamine /crack cocaine / synthetic cannabis / Alcohol) and associated poor health seeking behavior has been of important significance towards ensuring gender-sensitive harm reduction programming for Young Women Who Inject Drugs (WWUID).

We used and examined data from a cross-sectional study, which we recruited 120 participants aged 18 -30yrs across five (5) Local Government Areas in Lagos State, Nigeria between May 1,2022 to October 31,2022 who are reportedly ardent poly-drug users and living wth viral hepatitis B&C.

From the 120 study participants:
52 participants (43%) use opiates;
90 participants (36%) use crack cocaine; 
52 participants (43%) use methamphetamine; 
49 particiapnts (41%) use one or more drugs ;
80 participants (67%) live with Viral Hepatitis B
40 participants (33%) live with viral hepatitis C
42 participants (35%) disclosed their Viral Hepatitis/ Treatment status . 

However, smoking (p<0•0001), and viral hepatitis treatment non-adherence (p<0•0001).Poly-drug amongst Young WWIDs use was associated with prevalence of condomless sex with viral hepatitis sero-concordant male partners (24% to 78%), condomless sex with viral hepatitis sero-discordant male partners (17% to 69%). Opiates , Methamphetamine and Crack-cocaine  overdose was more strongly associated with higher-viral hepatitis  B &C-risk and condomless sex than were other commonly used drugs in the research community.

Poly-drug use amongst Young WWID is strongly associated with condomless sex and non adherence to viral hepatitis  treatment. Specialist support services for Young WWID with Viral hepatitis B& C who use recreational drugs might be beneficial in the reduction of harm and prevention of transmission of viral hepatitis B&C infections.

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