Los servicios de salud deberían utilizar mensajes que apelen a preocupaciones pragmáticas, como el cuidado de las venas, evitar las inyecciones dolorosas y prevenir los riesgos del síndrome de abstinencia.

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Injection drug users who take measures to reduce the risk of contracting hepatitis C are not always motivated by messages about preventing transmission of the disease, according to research published in PLOS ONE. Instead, health services should use messages appealing to pragmatic concerns, such as vein care, preventing painful injections, and avoiding risk of withdrawal.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Staying Safe project interviewed 37 long-term injection drug users in London to discover those practices which may prevent exposure to hepatitis C and other blood-borne pathogens.

Approximately 216,000 people in the UK are living with hepatitis C. It is estimated that up to nine out of 10 cases in England are caused by injecting illegal drugs, and that nearly half of people who inject drugs in England may be living with the virus.

All participants engaged in protective practices irrespective of serostatus. It is important to consider the relative importance of different motivations framing protective practices in order to formulate harm reduction interventions which appeal to the situated concerns of PWID, especially given that these protective practices may also help protect against HIV and other blood borne infections.

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