Project Update: Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico

The Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico project is moving along full steam ahead.

The project began Phase 1 of data collection in April 2015 and finished in June 2015. During Phase 1, the field team collected 315 computer assisted personal interviews, HIV rapid tests, and Hepatitis C rapid tests from individuals who inject drugs in central rural Puerto Rico! We owe our three person field team a debt of gratitude–they worked hard and gathered an amazingly rich dataset in a short period of time.

Our analytic team spent the summer entrenched in the Phase 1 data. As a result, we’ve submitted three papers for publication focusing on Hepatitis C in this population. These papers are currently under review, but expect to hear more about them when they have been accepted!  Now the team is working tirelessly on analyzing more Phase 1 data for publication later this year.

Here are a few highlights from the Phase 1 data:

  • 6% of participants tested positive (reactive) for HIV antibodies during rapid testing.
  • 78% of participants tested positive (reactive) for Hepatitis C antibodies during rapid testing.
  • Most participants were frequent users: During the past year, 39.7% injected an average of 4 or more times per day, while another 39.7% injected 2-3 times per day. Only 20.7% of the sample reported injecting one time per day or less.

Phase 2 is on target to begin soon–expect to see a new post with more details next week.

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