Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, Honoria Guarino
The growing population of young people who inject drugs (PWID) is at extremely high risk for HCV infection through the use of contaminated injection equipment, yet, to date, no behavioral intervention has been sufficiently potent to produce significant reductions in HCV incidence among PWID. To address this critical public health need, our team developed Staying Safe (Ssafe), an innovative, strengths-based, socio-behavioral HCV prevention intervention found in preliminary research to be highly acceptable and feasible, with strong indications of efficacy. The proposed randomized, controlled trial will assess the effectiveness of the Ssafe intervention in reducing both injection-related HCV/HIV risk behavior and HCV incidence among young adults (ages 18-29) who inject opioids (heroin and/or prescription opioids).
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