Danielle C Ompad

Danielle Ompad
Danielle C Ompad

Associate Dean for Education

Professor of Epidemiology

Professional overview

Dr. Danielle Ompad is an epidemiologist whose work is focused in the areas of urban health, HIV, illicit drug use, and adult access to vaccines. With respect to illicit drug use, her work has spanned the entire natural history of addiction – from initiation to cessation, with particular attention paid to risk for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and STIs.  She has primarily worked with people who use heroin, crack, cocaine, and/or club drugs.  

In New York City, she has been examining heroin cessation among current, former, and relapsed heroin users. Working with Alliance for Public Health and the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, she analyzes harm reduction service utilization among people who inject drugs, in order to optimize service delivery in Ukraine.  Since 2013, she has served as faculty for the Fogarty-funded New York State International Training and Research Program with the goal of building research capacity in Ukraine.

Dr. Ompad’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded study aims to determine if herpes simplex 1 and 2 infections explain racial disparities in HIV incidence among a cohort of young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM).  In addition, Dr. Ompad and colleagues are assessing HPV infection prevalence, persistence, and clearance among this same cohort.

Education

BS, Biology, Bowie State University, Bowie, MD
MHS, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
PhD, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Honors and awards

Excellence in Public Health Teaching Award, New York University (2014)
Excellence in Public Health Teaching Award, New York University (2013)
National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse Scientific Development Travel Fellowship (2010)
Delta Omega Honorary Society, Alpha Chapter (2002)

Areas of research and study

Epidemiology
HIV/AIDS
Infectious Diseases
Social Determinants of Health
STIs
Substance Abuse
Vaccines

Publications

Publications

Conceptualizing the Socio-Built Environment: An Expanded Theoretical Framework to Promote a Better Understanding of Risk for Nonmedical Opioid Overdose Outcomes in Urban and Non-Urban Settings

Tempalski, B., Williams, L. D., Kolak, M., Ompad, D. C., Koschinsky, J., & McLafferty, S. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Urban Health

Volume

99

Issue

4

Page(s)

701-716
Abstract
Abstract
Nonmedical opioid (NMO) use has been linked to significant increases in rates of NMO morbidity and mortality in non-urban areas. While there has been a great deal of empirical evidence suggesting that physical features of built environments represent strong predictors of drug use and mental health outcomes in urban settings, there is a dearth of research assessing the physical, built environment features of non-urban settings in order to predict risk for NMO overdose outcomes. Likewise, there is strong extant literature suggesting that social characteristics of environments also predict NMO overdoses and other NMO use outcomes, but limited research that considers the combined effects of both physical and social characteristics of environments on NMO outcomes. As a result, important gaps in the scientific literature currently limit our understanding of how both physical and social features of environments shape risk for NMO overdose in rural and suburban settings and therefore limit our ability to intervene effectively. In order to foster a more holistic understanding of environmental features predicting the emerging epidemic of NMO overdose, this article presents a novel, expanded theoretical framework that conceptualizes “socio-built environments” as comprised of (a) environmental characteristics that are applicable to both non-urban and urban settings and (b) not only traditional features of environments as conceptualized by the extant built environment framework, but also social features of environments. This novel framework can help improve our ability to identify settings at highest risk for high rates of NMO overdose, in order to improve resource allocation, targeting, and implementation for interventions such as opioid treatment services, mental health services, and care and harm reduction services for people who use drugs.

Copycat and lookalike edible cannabis product packaging in the United States

Ompad, D. C., Snyder, K. M., Sandh, S., Hagen, D., Collier, K. J., Goldmann, E., Goodman, M. S., & Tan, A. S. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Drug and alcohol dependence

Volume

235
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Recent media reports have highlighted copycat/lookalike cannabis edibles as a public health concern. No empirical papers have described this phenomenon. Methods: From May 2020-August 2021, we collected photos of cannabis products via an online survey of cannabis users and through personal contacts. Copycat/lookalike products are defined as those that use the same or similar brand name, logo, and/or imagery as an existing commercial non-cannabis counterpart (CNCC). We assessed each package for similarities with its CNCC with respect to brand name, product name, font, color, flavors, and brand/promotional characters. We examined cannabis content indicators including: THC content per package and serving, cannabis leaf symbol, product warnings, cannabis terms, cannabis motifs, activation time, and guidance on edible use. Results: We collected photos of 731 cannabis products; 267 (36%) were edibles of which 22 (8%) represented 13 unique copycat/lookalike products. Eight used exact brand/product names as existing CNCCs, and five used similar names. Packages copied or imitated a mean of 3.9 of six features and indicated cannabis content with a mean of 4.1 of eight features. Thirteen packages indicated a mean THC content of 459 mg/package. Four reported THC dose per serving, with a mean dose of 47.5 mg. Conclusions: Our content analysis highlights three key concerns. First, copycat/lookalike edibles subtly indicate cannabis content while using high fidelity replication or imitation of their CNCC. Second, THC content is high and there were multiple 10 mg THC doses in the equivalent of 1 serving of a CNCC. Third, these products may be attractive to children.

Predictors of Anal High-Risk HPV Infection Across Time in a Cohort of Young Adult Sexual Minority Men and Transgender Women in New York City, 2015–2020

PrEP Care Continuum Engagement Among Persons Who Inject Drugs: Rural and Urban Differences in Stigma and Social Infrastructure

Walters, S. M., Frank, D., Van Ham, B., Jaiswal, J., Muncan, B., Earnshaw, V., Schneider, J., Friedman, S. R., & Ompad, D. C. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

AIDS and Behavior

Volume

26

Issue

4

Page(s)

1308-1320
Abstract
Abstract
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication that prevents HIV acquisition, yet PrEP uptake has been low among people who inject drugs. Stigma has been identified as a fundamental driver of population health and may be a significant barrier to PrEP care engagement among PWID. However, there has been limited research on how stigma operates in rural and urban settings in relation to PrEP. Using in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 57) we explore PrEP continuum engagement among people actively injecting drugs in rural and urban settings. Urban participants had more awareness and knowledge. Willingness to use PrEP was similar in both settings. However, no participant was currently using PrEP. Stigmas against drug use, HIV, and sexualities were identified as barriers to PrEP uptake, particularly in the rural setting. Syringe service programs in the urban setting were highlighted as a welcoming space where PWID could socialize and therefore mitigate stigma and foster information sharing.

Presence of Content Appealing to Youth on Cannabis-Infused Edibles Packaging

Tan, A. S., Weinreich, E., Padon, A., Sanchez, M., Snyder, K. M., Vasilyeva, A., Sandh, S., Goldmann, E., Goodman, M., & Ompad, D. C. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Substance Use and Misuse

Volume

57

Issue

8

Page(s)

1215-1219
Abstract
Abstract
Background: There is a lack of consistent regulation of cannabis edibles packaging to restrict youth-appealing content in the United States. Objective: To describe content appealing to youth on U.S. cannabis-infused edibles packaging. Methods: We analyzed 256 photos of cannabis-infused edibles packaging collected from U.S. adults from 25 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico between May 2020 to August 2021. We coded the presence of product knockoffs, human and non-human creatures, images indicating flavor, text indicating flavor, and the number of colors. We compared these codes across states’ legalization status (medical and non-medical cannabis, medical cannabis only, or limited cannabis legalization). Results: Overall, 15% of packages resembled product knockoffs, 23% contained human/non-human creatures, 35% contained flavor images, 91% contained flavor text, and median number of colors was 5 (range from 1 to 10+). Packages purchased in states with medical and non-medical cannabis, medical cannabis only, or limited cannabis legalization differed significantly on product knockoffs (11%, 26%, 38%, p = 0.007), human/non-human creatures (19%, 33%, 63%, p = 0.002), flavor text (93%, 81%, 100%, p = 0.046), and number of colors (median of 5, 5, and 10, p = 0.022). Conclusions: Existing laws have not adequately limited content appealing to youth on U.S. cannabis-infused edibles packaging. Robust and consistent regulations in the U.S. are needed to ensure that the packaging of such products does not contain content that appeal to youth and lead to initiation or inadvertent ingestion.

Principles and Metrics for Evaluating Oregon’s Innovative Drug Decriminalization Measure

Netherland, J., Kral, A. H., Ompad, D. C., Davis, C. S., Bluthenthal, R. N., Dasgupta, N., Gilbert, M., Morgan, R., & Wheelock, H. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Urban Health

Volume

99

Issue

2

Page(s)

328-331

Structural and community changes during COVID-19 and their effects on overdose precursors among rural people who use drugs: a mixed-methods analysis

Walters, S. M., Bolinski, R. S., Almirol, E., Grundy, S., Fletcher, S., Schneider, J., Friedman, S. R., Ouellet, L. J., Ompad, D. C., Jenkins, W., & Pho, M. T. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Addiction Science and Clinical Practice

Volume

17

Issue

1
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Drug overdose rates in the United States have been steadily increasing, particularly in rural areas. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated mitigation strategies may have increased overdose risk for people who use drugs by impacting social, community, and structural factors. Methods: The study included a quantitative survey focused on COVID-19 administered to 50 people who use drugs and semi-structured qualitative interviews with 17 people who use drugs, 12 of whom also participated in the quantitative survey. Descriptive statistics were run for the quantitative data. Qualitative coding was line-by-line then grouped thematically. Quantitative and qualitative data were integrated during analysis. Results: Findings demonstrate how COVID-19 disruptions at the structural and community level affected outcomes related to mental health and drug use at the individual level. Themes that emerged from the qualitative interviews were (1) lack of employment opportunities, (2) food and housing insecurity, (3) community stigma impacting health service use, (4) mental health strains, and (5) drug market disruptions. Structural and community changes increased anxiety, depression, and loneliness on the individual level, as well as changes in drug use patterns, all of which are likely to increase overdose risk. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic, and mitigation strategies aimed at curbing infection, disrupted communities and lives of people who use drugs. These disruptions altered individual drug use and mental health outcomes, which could increase risk for overdose. We recommend addressing structural and community factors, including developing multi-level interventions, to combat overdose. Trial registration Clinicaltrails.gov: NCT04427202. Registered June 11, 2020: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04427202?term=pho+mai&draw=2&rank=3.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Drug Use Behaviors, Fentanyl Exposure, and Harm Reduction Service Support among People Who Use Drugs in Rural Settings

Bolinski, R. S., Walters, S., Salisbury-Afshar, E., Ouellet, L. J., Jenkins, W. D., Almirol, E., Van Ham, B., Fletcher, S., Johnson, C., Schneider, J. A., Ompad, D., & Pho, M. T. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

International journal of environmental research and public health

Volume

19

Issue

4
Abstract
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the opioid overdose crisis in the US. Rural communities have been disproportionately affected by opioid use and people who use drugs in these settings may be acutely vulnerable to pandemic-related disruptions due to high rates of poverty, social isolation, and pervasive resource limitations. Methods: We performed a mixed-methods study to assess the impact of the pandemic in a convenience sample of people who use drugs in rural Illinois. We conducted 50 surveys capturing demographics, drug availability, drug use, sharing practices, and mental health symptoms. In total, 19 qualitative interviews were performed to further explore COVID-19 knowledge, impact on personal and community life, drug acquisition and use, overdose, and protective substance use adaptations. Results: Drug use increased during the pandemic, including the use of fentanyl products such as gel encapsulated “beans” and “buttons”. Disruptions in supply, including the decreased availability of heroin, increased methamphetamine costs and a concomitant rise in local methamphetamine production, and possible fentanyl contamination of methamphetamine was reported. Participants reported increased drug use alone, experience and/or witness of overdose, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Consistent access to harm reduction services, including naloxone and fentanyl test strips, was highlighted as a source of hope and community resiliency. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic period was characterized by changing drug availability, increased overdose risk, and other drug-related harms faced by people who use drugs in rural areas. Our findings emphasize the importance of ensuring access to harm reduction services, including overdose prevention and drug checking for this vulnerable population.

Acceptability and Effectiveness of Hepatitis C Care at Syringe Service Programs for People Who Inject Drugs in New York City

Muncan, B., Jordan, A. E., Perlman, D. C., Frank, D., Ompad, D. C., & Walters, S. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Substance Use and Misuse

Volume

56

Issue

5

Page(s)

728-737
Abstract
Abstract
Introduction/Objectives: The incidence of hepatitis C (HCV) infection is rising among people who inject drugs (PWID). Even in the context of known HCV prevention and treatment strategies, some PWID remain unengaged in HCV care. This study aimed to identify and characterize experiences and perceptions of PWID regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of HCV testing and treatment at a local syringe service program (SSP). Methods: A total of 36 PWID participated in semi-structured interviews at an SSP in New York City. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded by three coders, following a constructivist grounded theory approach. Relevant themes were identified as they emerged from the data. Results: Interviews with PWID revealed three themes related to the impact of SSPs on HCV care: (1) non-stigmatizing SSP environments, (2) the role of SSPs in improving HCV knowledge, and (3) acceptability of SSPs as sites for HCV care among PWID. Discussion: This paper contributes to the ongoing understanding that SSPs provide a well-accepted source of HCV services for PWID. Participants believed that SSPs are accessible and effective sites for HCV care, and suggested that stigma among PWID continues to affect receipt of HCV care in traditional settings. Conclusions: Understanding attitudes and beliefs of PWID regarding the effectiveness of SSPs as sites for HCV care is crucial for the development of focused strategies to reduce HCV transmission, and to ultimately achieve HCV elimination. Given this, further research is warranted investigating how best to improve HCV care at harm reduction sites such as SSPs.

Dominican Provider Attitudes Towards HPV Testing for Cervical Cancer Screening and, Current Challenges to Cervical Cancer Prevention in the Dominican Republic: a Mixed Methods Study

Liebermann, E., Van Devanter, N., Frías Gúzman, N., Hammer, M. J., & Ompad, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Journal of Cancer Education

Volume

36

Issue

6

Page(s)

1170-1185
Abstract
Abstract
Creating effective programs for cervical cancer prevention is essential to avoid premature deaths from cervical cancer. The Dominican Republic has persistently high rates of cervical cancer, despite the availability of Pap smear screening. This study explored Dominican provider attitudes towards human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and current challenges to effective cervical cancer prevention. In this Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR)–driven mixed methods study, we conducted in-depth interviews (N = 21) and surveys (N = 202) with Dominican providers in Santo Domingo and Monte Plata provinces regarding their perspectives on barriers to cervical cancer prevention and their knowledge and attitudes towards HPV testing as an alternative to Pap smear. Providers believed the main barrier to cervical cancer prevention was lack of cervical cancer awareness and resulting inadequate population screening coverage. Providers felt that Pap smear was widely available to women in the Dominican Republic and were unsure how a change to HPV testing for screening would address gaps in current cervical cancer screening programs. A subset of providers felt HPV testing offered important advantages for early detection of cervical cancer and were in favor of more widespread use. Cost of the HPV test and target age for screening with HPV testing were the main barriers to acceptability. Providers had limited knowledge of HPV testing as a screening test. The group was divided in terms of the potential impact of a change in screening test in addressing barriers to cervical cancer prevention in the Dominican Republic. Findings may inform interventions to disseminate global evidence-based recommendations for cervical cancer screening.

Dominican Provider Practices for Cervical Cancer Screening in Santo Domingo and Monte Plata Provinces

Liebermann, E., Hammer, M. J., Gúzman, N. F., Van Devanter, N., & Ompad, D. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Journal of Cancer Education

Volume

36

Issue

4

Page(s)

693-701
Abstract
Abstract
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the Dominican Republic. Pap smear screening in the Dominican Republic has not achieved adequate reduction in cervical cancer mortality. The purpose of this study was to examine Dominican provider practices for cervical cancer screening and the use of national or international screening guidelines. We surveyed 101 gynecology specialists, 50 non-specialists, and 51 obstetrics-gynecology residents in the Santo Domingo and Monte Plata provinces of the Dominican Republic regarding their cervical cancer screening practices and use of guidelines. Bivariate (chi-square) analyses were conducted to compare screening practices by demographic and practice characteristics. The majority of providers followed WHO guidelines (62.9%) and/or Dominican national norms (59.4%). The majority (87%) of providers use time since first sexual activity as the basis for screening initiation; 96% advise screening every 6–12 months. The most commonly used screening test is the conventional Pap smear. Colposcopy was recommended most often for all abnormal Pap results. Dominican providers report they follow national and/or international cervical cancer screening guidelines. They do not follow age-based screening guidelines, nor have they adopted an extended interval for screening and continue to recommend screening at least annually. A culture of early and frequent screening has consequences in terms of cost, high demand for follow-up services, and reduced capacity to reach the populations at highest risk. Early screening also may challenge the acceptability of adopting alternative screening technologies such as HPV testing.

How urban and rural built environments influence the health attitudes and behaviors of people who use drugs

Ezell, J. M., Ompad, D. C., & Walters, S. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Health and Place

Volume

69
Abstract
Abstract
Research suggests that the built environment is associated with drug use. However, there is limited scholarship focusing on specific features of the built environment that influence drug use behaviors, experiences, and patterns and how risk factors for drug use are placed in distinctive urban and rural settings. Applying Neely and Samura's conceptual theory that describes space as contested, fluid and historical, interactional and relational, and defined by inequality and difference, we assessed data from semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted between 2019 and 2020 with consumers at syringe exchange programs (SEPs) in an urban location (New York City) and a rural location (southern Illinois). We aimed to contextualize how drug use manifests in each space. In total, 65 individuals, including 59 people who use drugs (PWUD) and six professionals who worked with PWUD, were interviewed. Findings illustrate that, in both the urban and rural setting, the built environment regulates the drug use milieu by mediating social reproduction, namely the degree of agency PWUD exert to acquire and use drugs where they desire. Processes of “stigma zoning,” defined as socio-spatial policing of boundaries of behavior deemed undesirable or deviant, impacted PWUD's socio-geographic mobility, social conditions, and resource access, and modulated PWUD's broader capacity and self-efficacy. Similar patterns of drug use, according to social and economic inequities chiefly related to housing instability, were further observed in both settings.

Racial and ethnic disparities in "stop-and-frisk" experience among young sexual minority men in New York City

The effectiveness of malaria camps as part of the Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) program in Odisha, India: study protocol for a cluster-assigned quasi-experimental study

Ompad, D. C., Kessler, A., Van Eijk, A. M., Padhan, T. K., Haque, M. A., Sullivan, S. A., Tozan, Y., Rocklöv, J., Mohanty, S., Pradhan, M. M., Sahu, P. K., & Carlton, J. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Global Health Action

Volume

14

Issue

1
Abstract
Abstract
The Indian state of Odisha has a longstanding battle with forest malaria. Many remote and rural villages have poor access to health care, a problem that is exacerbated during the rainy season when malaria transmission is at its peak. Approximately 62% of the rural population consists of tribal groups who are among the communities most negatively impacted by malaria. To address the persistently high rates of malaria in these remote regions, the Odisha State Malaria Control Program introduced ‘malaria camps’ in 2017 where teams of health workers visit villages to educate the population, enhance vector control methods, and perform village-wide screening and treatment. Malaria rates declined statewide, particularly in forested areas, following the introduction of the malaria camps, but the impact of the intervention is yet to be externally evaluated. This study protocol describes a cluster-assigned quasi-experimental stepped-wedge study with a pretest-posttest control group design that evaluates if malaria camps reduce the prevalence of malaria, compared to control villages which receive the usual malaria control interventions (e.g. IRS, ITNs), as detected by PCR.

"they look at us like junkies": Influences of drug use stigma on the healthcare engagement of people who inject drugs in New York City

Muncan, B., Walters, S. M., Ezell, J., & Ompad, D. C. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Harm Reduction Journal

Volume

17

Issue

1
Abstract
Abstract
Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) are a medically and socially vulnerable population with a high incidence of overdose, mental illness, and infections like HIV and hepatitis C. Existing literature describes social and economic correlations to increased health risk, including stigma. Injection drug use stigma has been identified as a major contributor to healthcare disparities for PWID. However, data on this topic, particularly in terms of the interface between enacted, anticipated, and internalized stigma, is still limited. To fill this gap, we examined perspectives from PWID whose stigmatizing experiences impacted their views of the healthcare system and syringe service programs (SSPs) and influenced their decisions regarding future medical care. Methods: Semi-structured interviews conducted with 32 self-identified PWID in New York City. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Interview transcripts were coded using a grounded theory approach by three trained coders and key themes were identified as they emerged. Results: A total of 25 participants (78.1%) reported at least one instance of stigma related to healthcare system engagement. Twenty-three participants (71.9%) reported some form of enacted stigma with healthcare, 19 participants (59.4%) described anticipated stigma with healthcare, and 20 participants (62.5%) reported positive experiences at SSPs. Participants attributed healthcare stigma to their drug injection use status and overwhelmingly felt distrustful of, and frustrated with, medical providers and other healthcare staff at hospitals and local clinics. PWID did not report internalized stigma, in part due to the availability of non-stigmatizing medical care at SSPs. Conclusions: Stigmatizing experiences of PWID in formal healthcare settings contributed to negative attitudes toward seeking healthcare in the future. Many participants describe SSPs as accessible sites to receive high-quality medical care, which may curb the manifestation of internalized stigma derived from negative experiences in the broader healthcare system. Our findings align with those reported in the literature and reveal the potentially important role of SSPs. With the goal of limiting stigmatizing interactions and their consequences on PWID health, we recommend that future research include explorations of mechanisms by which PWID make decisions in stigmatizing healthcare settings, as well as improving medical care availability at SSPs.

Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment in the Dominican Republic: Perspectives of Focus Group Participants in the Santo Domingo Area

Pandemic preparedness and hard to reach populations

Vlahov, D., Coady, M. H., Galea, S., Ompad, D. C., & Barondess, J. A. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

American journal of disaster medicine

Volume

14

Issue

4

Page(s)

308-310

Parent-Level Barriers and Facilitators to HPV Vaccine Implementation in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Opioid/Overdose Crisis as a Dialectics of Pain, Despair, and One-Sided Struggle

Friedman, S. R., Krawczyk, N., Perlman, D. C., Mateu-Gelabert, P., Ompad, D. C., Hamilton, L., Nikolopoulos, G., Guarino, H., & Cerdá, M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Frontiers in Public Health

Volume

8
Abstract
Abstract
The opioid/overdose crisis in the United States and Canada has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and has become a major field for research and interventions. It has embroiled pharmaceutical companies in lawsuits and possible bankruptcy filings. Effective interventions and policies toward this and future drug-related outbreaks may be improved by understanding the sociostructural roots of this outbreak. Much of the literature on roots of the opioid/overdose outbreak focuses on (1) the actions of pharmaceutical companies in inappropriately promoting the use of prescription opioids; (2) “deaths of despair” based on the deindustrialization of much of rural and urban Canada and the United States, and on the related marginalization and demoralization of those facing lifetimes of joblessness or precarious employment in poorly paid, often dangerous work; and (3) increase in occupationally-induced pain and injuries in the population. All three of these roots of the crisis—pharmaceutical misconduct and unethical marketing practices, despair based on deindustrialization and increased occupational pain—can be traced back, in part, to what has been called the “one-sided class war” that became prominent in the 1970s, became institutionalized as neo-liberalism in and since the 1980s, and may now be beginning to be challenged. We describe this one-sided class war, and how processes it sparked enabled pharmaceutical corporations in their misconduct, nurtured individualistic ideologies that fed into despair and drug use, weakened institutions that created social support in communities, and reduced barriers against injuries and other occupational pain at workplaces by reducing unionization, weakening surviving unions, and weakening the enforcement of rules about workplace safety and health. We then briefly discuss the implications of this analysis for programs and policies to mitigate or reverse the opioid/overdose outbreak.

The role of access to integrated services at opioid agonist treatment sites in reaching 90-90-90 cascade in people who inject drugs in Ukraine: Country-level data

Meteliuk, A., Prokhorova, T., Filippovych, S., Ompad, D. C., & Zaller, N. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Drug and alcohol dependence

Volume

216
Abstract
Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) is an effective means to prevent HIV transmission. Ukraine started integrating HIV services into OAT sites to improve people who inject drugs' (PWID) access to treatment.METHODS: Data from the national registry of OAT patients (n = 9,983) were analyzed. These data are collected from all 179 OAT sites countrywide. For the cascade, HIV-positive OAT patients (n = 4,084) were stratified into two categories: OAT alone (received OAT at one site and antiretroviral therapy (ART) at different location, n = 1,789) and integrated care (received OAT and ART at one location, n = 2,295) for comparison.RESULTS: Most HIV-positive OAT patients in Ukraine are male (85.6 %) and the mean age is 40.3 years old. The mean length of injecting before OAT is 17.2 years and the mean length on OAT is 4.2 years. All HIV-positive OAT clients are aware of their HIV status. The proportion of HIV-positive clients receiving ART was higher at integrated care sites compared to OAT alone sites (84.2 vs. 73.1 %, p- = 0.012); distribution of viral suppression among those receiving ART across the strata were 79.4 and 59.2 % for 'integrated care sites' vs. 'OAT only sites' respectively (p < 0.001).CONCLUSIONS: This analysis clearly demonstrates much better progress towards the 90-90-90 goals among those OAT patients who receive integrated care services (both OAT and ART) at one site at each stage of the HIV care cascade as compared to receiving OAT and ART at different sites. There is an urgent need to further expand the integration of OAT and HIV services in Ukraine.

A New Generation of Drug Users in St. Petersburg, Russia? HIV, HCV, and Overdose Risks in a Mixed-Methods Pilot Study of Young Hard Drug Users

Meylakhs, P., Friedman, S. R., Meylakhs, A., Mateu-Gelabert, P., Ompad, D. C., Alieva, A., & Dmitrieva, A. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

AIDS and Behavior

Volume

23

Issue

12

Page(s)

3350-3365
Abstract
Abstract
Russia has a widespread injection drug use epidemic with high prevalence of HIV and HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID). We conducted a mixed methods study of young (age 18–26) hard drug users in St. Petersburg. Thirty-nine structured and 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted. No HIV cases and two HCV cases were detected among the PWID subsample (n = 29). Amphetamine and other stimulants were common (70%), opioid use was rare and episodic. Consistent condom use was 10%. No PWID reported syringe-sharing, 51% reported other drug paraphernalia sharing. Most (89%) never or rarely communicated with older (30 +) opiate users. A new cohort of drug users in St. Petersburg may have emerged, which is much safer in its injection practices compared to previous cohorts. However, risky sexual practices among this new cohort may expose them to the possibility of sexual transmission of HIV and widespread drug paraphernalia sharing to the HCV epidemic.

Construction trade and extraction workers: A population at high risk for drug use in the United States, 2005–2014

Ompad, D. C., Gershon, R. R., Sandh, S., Acosta, P., & Palamar, J. J. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Drug and alcohol dependence

Volume

205
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: To estimate prevalence of past-month marijuana, cocaine, and nonmedical prescription opioid (NPO) use and determine employment-related correlates of drug use among construction trade/extraction workers (CTEW). Methods: We analyzed ten years of data (2005–2014) from 293,492 adults (age≥18) in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, comparing CTEW and non-CTEW. Results: CTEW were 5.6% (n = 16,610) of the sample. Compared to non-CTEW, CTEW were significantly more likely to report past-month marijuana (12.3% vs. 7.5%), cocaine (1.8% vs. 0.8%), and/or NPO use (3.4% vs. 2.0%; Ps<.001). Among CTEW, past-week unemployment and working for >3 employers was associated with increased odds of marijuana and NPO use. Missing 1–2 days in the past month because the participant did not want to go into work was associated with increased odds for use of marijuana, cocaine, and NPO use. Missing 3–5 days of work in the past month because sick or injured was associated with double the odds (aOR = 2.00 [95% CI: 1.33–3.02]) of using NPO. Having written drug policies was associated with reduced odds for cocaine use, and workplace tests for drug use during hiring and random drug testing were also associated with lower odds of marijuana use. Conclusions: CTEW are a high-risk population for drug use. Precarious employment is associated with higher prevalence of drug use while some workplace drug policies were associated with lower prevalence. Coupled with reports of high overdose mortality among CTEW, these findings suggest that prevention and harm reduction programming is needed to prevent drug-related morbidity and mortality among CTEW.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination and Infection in Young Sexual Minority Men: The P18 Cohort Study

Incidence of Guillain-BarréSyndrome (GBS) in Latin America and the Caribbean before and during the 2015-2016 Zika virus epidemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Capasso, A., Ompad, D. C., Vieira, D. L., Wilder-Smith, A., & Tozan, Y. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Volume

13

Issue

8
Abstract
Abstract
Background A severe neurological disorder, Guillain-Barrésyndrome (GBS) is the leading cause of acute flaccid paralysis. Enhanced surveillance of GBS in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) following the 2015-2016 Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic presents an opportunity to estimate, for the first time, the regional incidence of GBS. Methods and findings For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched nine scientific databases and grey literature from January 1, 1980 to October 1, 2018. Sources with primary data on incident GBS cases in LAC within a well-defined population and timeframe, published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French, were included. We calculated the annual GBS incidence rates (IRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each source based on published data. Following an assessment of heterogeneity, we used random-effects meta-analysis to calculate the pooled annual IR of GBS. The study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42018086659. Of the 6568 initial citation hits, 31 were eligible for inclusion. Background annual GBS IRs in Latin America ranged from 0.40 in Brazil to 2.12/100,000 in Chile. The pooled annual IR in the Caribbean was 1.64 (95% CI 1.29-2.12, I2<0.01, p = 0.44). During the ZIKV epidemic, GBS IRs ranged from 0.62 in Mexico to 9.35/100,000 in Martinique. GBS increased 2.6 (95% CI 2.3-2.9) times during ZIKV and 1.9 (95% CI 1.1- 3.4) times during chikungunya outbreaks over background rates. A limitation of this review is that the studies included employed different methodologies to find and ascertain cases of GBS, which could contribute to IR heterogeneity. In addition, it is important to consider that data on GBS are lacking for many countries in the region. Conclusions Background IRs of GBS appear to peak during arboviral disease outbreaks. The current review contributes to an understanding of the epidemiology of GBS in the LAC region, which can inform healthcare system planning and preparedness, particularly during arboviral epidemics.

On the way to Hepatitis C elimination in the Republic of Georgia—Barriers and facilitators for people who inject drugs for engaging in the treatment program: A formative qualitative study

Chikovani, I., Ompad, D. C., Uchaneishvili, M., Sulaberidze, L., Sikharulidze, K., Hagan, H., & Van Devanter, N. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

PloS one

Volume

14

Issue

4
Abstract
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant public health concern worldwide. Georgia is among the countries with a high burden of HCV infection. People who inject drugs (PWID) have the highest burden of infection in Georgia. In 2015, the Government of Georgia, with partners’ support, initiated one of the world’s first Hepatitis C Elimination Programs. Despite notable progress, challenges to achieving targets persist. This qualitative study is aimed to better understand some of the barriers and facilitators to HCV testing and treatment services for PWID to inform HCV treatment policies and practices. The study instrument examined social, structural, and individual factors influencing HCV testing and treatment practices. We started with key informant interviews to guide the study instrument development and compare the study findings against health care planners’ and health care providers’ views. Forty PWID with various HCV testing and treatment experiences were recruited through the snowball method. The study found that along with structural factors such as political commitment, co-financing of diagnostic and monitoring tests, and friendly clinic environments, knowledge about HCV infection and elimination program benefits, and support from family and peers also play facilitating roles in accessing testing and treatment services. On the other hand, inability to co-pay for diagnostic tests, fear of side effects associated with treatment, poor knowledge about HCV infection, and lack of social support hampered testing and treatment practices among PWID. Findings from this study are important for increasing the effectiveness of this unique program that targets a population at high risk of HCV infection.

Contact

danielle.ompad@nyu.edu 708 Broadway 8FL New York, NY, 10003