Abstract: #1591 The Cedar Project: Childhood Sexual Abuse Is a Risk Factor for Hepatitis C Infection Among Young Indigenous People Who Use Drugs in Canada – Margo Pearce, et al., By Lucinda Porter, RN
Indigenous people in Canada are disproportionately affected by HCV. The Cedar Project is a cohort of young Indigenous people (14-30 years) using street drugs in Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Indigenous communities struggle with a higher than average amount of sexual and physical trauma. This study looked at the effects of childhood physical abuse or sexual abuse on HCV risk among young Indigenous people who use street drugs.
Conclusion: Researchers noted that childhood physical and sexual abuse experiences continue to negatively affect the well-being of young Indigenous people. Each increase in sexual abuse severity was associated with 3.5-fold higher odds of HCV infection. Researchers noted the HCV infection may be a marker of previous sexual abuse among Indigenous patients.
Editorial Comments: In this #MeToo age, we must remember the children plus those who are trapped in a cycle of violence. It isn’t enough to support children, we need to reach out to those who abuse, developing effective ways to stop violence before it occurs.
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