Sex, drugs, and STIs: Syphilis infection and hepatitis B vaccine compliance among illicit drug users in Houston
Although the association between syphilis infection status and compliance with the hepatitis B virus vaccine has been the focus of investigation, there is a lack of data regarding the association between syphilis infection and HBV vaccine compliance. The author investigated the association between the exposure of syphilis infection and the outcome of HBV vaccine completion, defined as degree of constancy and accuracy with which a patient follows a prescribed regimen. A cohort design was employed using interview and serological data from the Drugs, AIDS, STDs, Hepatitis (DASH) Research Project; analysis was restricted to HIV and HBV seronegative (at baseline), illicit drug users residing in Harris County. Syphilis negative and syphilis positive infection status was determined from the serological data while covariates and outcome information were determined from the DASH Project Questionnaire; enrolled subjects (n=1160) were selected from the data. Association between exposure and outcome was assessed with logistic regression adjusted for data-based confounders. A prevalence of 7% and 71% was found for syphilis and HBV vaccine compliance, respectively. When measuring the actual association between syphilis infection status and HBV vaccine compliance, an odds ratio of 1.49 (95% CI: 0.86, 2.72) was obtained. There was a non-significant association between these two variables. 78% of the study population was syphilis positive and completed the vaccine series compared to 70% of the population that was syphilis negative and received all three doses. This finding confirms that there is a difference between syphilis positive and negative drug users with respect to HBV vaccine compliance. The fact that differences were found in these drug users with respect to vaccine schedule supports the idea that sub-group differences may exist and thus merits further investigation. If these differences are confirmed, it is recommended that STI interventions identify community characteristics of their samples and target populations based on practices specific to that community.
Sparrow, Passion La Shaunda, "Sex, drugs, and STIs: Syphilis infection and hepatitis B vaccine compliance among illicit drug users in Houston" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3290038.