Objectives To evaluate Hepatitis C virus (HCV) knowledge and awareness among pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD). Methods From May through November 2015, a one-time survey was distributed to a convenience sample of pregnant women with OUD to assess their knowledge and awareness of (a) risk factors for HCV infection, (b) HCV transmission prevention strategies, (c) hepatotoxic risk reduction and (d) perinatal transmission and neonatal implications of HCV infection. Chi square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare demographic characteristics and HCV knowledge between participants who were HCV positive and negative. Results Of 179 pregnant women with OUD approached, 169 (94%) completed the survey. Of these, 153 (90.5%) reported at least one risk factor for HCV infection, 85 (50.3%) were HCV positive and 38 (44.7%) of HCV positive women were diagnosed with HCV for the first time during pregnancy. When HCV knowledge was evaluated, 114 (66.7%) responded that sharing eating utensils could transmit HCV, 69 (55.0%) responded that there is a vaccine to prevent HCV and 56 (32.7%) did not identify intranasal drug use as a risk factor for HCV transmission. Among HCV positive women, 61 (71.8%) associated breastfeeding with an increased risk for HCV transmission, 33 (38.1%) failed to identify the importance of pediatric follow-up for HCV-exposed children and 16 (18.8%) perceived the risk of HCV vertical transmission as “likely” or “very likely.” Conclusions for Practice Gaps in HCV knowledge exist among a rapidly growing population of pregnant women with OUD. Healthcare providers have a unique opportunity to provide HCV education and counseling during pregnancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health