US Pharm. 2014;38(3):HS-16.

The spread of hepatitis C (HCV) in people who inject drugs (PWIDs) remains a chronic problem despite a plethora of social and behavioral intervention and educational programs. Now, researchers affiliated with New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) are focusing on intervention strategies that stress the lesser-known dangers of HCV transmission through the sharing of other injection equipment such as cookers, filters, drug-dilution water, and water containers.

Their article, published in AIDS Education and Prevention, explores the feasibility of their “Staying Safe Intervention,” a strengths-based social and behavioral intervention conducted with small groups of PWID, designed to facilitate long-term prevention of HIV and HCV.

“The Staying Safe Intervention seeks to reduce injection risk by intervening upstream in the causal chain of risk behaviors by modeling, training in, and motivating the use of strategies and practices of long-term risk-avoidance,” said Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, PhD, the study’s principal investigator, at the New York City–based National Development Research Institutes. Currently, Dr. Mateu-Gelabert’s team is researching HCV and HIV risk associated with non–medical prescription opioid use.