University of Illinois Chicago
Young people in the USA who inject drugs, particularly those at a risk of residence instability, experience the highest incidence of hepatitis C (HCV) infections. This study examined associations between geographic mobility patterns and sociodemographic, behavioral, and social network characteristics of 164 young (ages 18-30) persons who inject drugs (PWID). We identified a potential bridge sub-population who reported residence in both urban and suburban areas in the past year (crossover transients) and higher-risk behaviors (receptive syringe sharing, multiple sex partners) compared to their residentially localized counterparts. Because they link suburban and urban networks, crossover transients may facilitate transmission of HIV and HCV between higher and lower prevalence areas. Interventions should address risk associated with residential instability, particularly among PWID who travel between urban and suburban areas.