1Philip J. Wenger is with the Department of Pharmacy Practice, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, MO. Fred Rottnek is with the Department of Family & Community Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Jeffrey S. Crippin is with the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Todd Parker is with the Saint Louis County Department of Health, Clayton, MO.
Objectives. We sought to validate previous reports of HCV prevalence in jails, identify HCV risk factors prevalence, and identify risk factors associated with HCV infection in this population.
Methods. Inmates at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center (BWJC) in St. Louis, Missouri, were offered risk factor screening for HCV and anti-HCV antibody testing from December 2012 through May 2013. Demographic and risk factor information were assessed for significant associations with positive HCV antibody results. Risk factors that were significantly associated in univariate analysis were assessed using binary logistic regression to model the relationship between positive HCV results and the risk factors and demographics.
Results. Fifty of 304 inmates were positive for HCV, with a prevalence of 16.4%. The risk factors significantly associated with increased risk for positive HCV antibody were age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.04, 1.15 for each year), injection drug use (OR = 53.87; 95% CI = 17.78, 163.21), sex with HCV-positive partner (OR = 7.35; 95% CI = 1.41, 38.20), and tattoos by a nonlicensed provider (OR = 2.62; 95% CI = 1.09, 6.33). Prevalence for women was 3 times that of men (38% vs 12%).
Conclusions. Prevalence of HCV at BWJC was similar to previous jail studies, which is lower than reported prison rates and higher than the general population.