- 1Orvis School of Nursing, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NE, USA.
- 2School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
Objective: To conduct a literature review about the breadth of risks for acquiring hepatitis C virus (HCV) among women who are living in the United States.
Design: A mixed research synthesis of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods studies guided by the Socioecological Model and Theory of Gender and Power.
Sample and analytic strategy: The sample consisted of 29 studies: 10 qualitative, 18 quantitative, and one mixed-methods studies. Data were analyzed using a segregated approach and integrated into a narrative synthesis of themes by components of the Socioecological Model.
Results: Individual risks themes were drug use as a coping strategy, transition to injection drug use, and lack of awareness about HCV. Interpersonal risks themes were social norms of drug use and drug use and sexual activities. Community risks themes were community re-entry, housing instability, and community HCV resources. Societal risks themes are policies affecting drug markets and social construct of "worthlessness."
Conclusions: Findings highlight the need for comprehensive gender-specific HCV prevention strategies built around harm reduction. In partnership with women with lived experience, public health nurses can apply findings to build harm reduction collaborations aimed at implementing HCV risk-reduction or risk-elimination strategies.