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This study examined whether patients with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection adhered to their physicians' recommendation and HCV clinical guidelines for obtaining a regular liver function test (LFT), and whether high-risk behaviors are associated with behavioral adherence. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 101 eligible patients with HCV who were recruited from health centers in New Jersey and Washington, DC. Adherence outcomes were defined as the patients' self-report of two consecutive receipts of LFTs in accordance with their physicians' recommended interval or the clinical guidelines for a LFT within 3-6 months. 67.4% of patients (66/98) reported a receipt of their physicians' recommendation for a LFT. The rate of adherence to physician recommendation was about 70% (46/66), however over 50% (52/101) of patients with HCV did not obtain regular LFTs. 15.8% (16/101) of patients continued to use injection drugs. Patients who used injection drugs had 0.87 (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.13, 95% confidence interval 0.03-0.59) times lower odds adhering to their physician recommendation, relative to non-users. Patients with HIV co-infection had increased odds of adhering to the clinical guidelines (odds ratio 3.41, 95% confidence interval 1.34-8.70) vs. patients who did not report HIV co-infection. Additionally, patients who had received a physician's recommendation had 7.21 times (95% confidence interval of 2.36-22.2) greater odds adhering to the clinical guidelines than those who had not. Overall, promoting HCV patient-provider communication regarding regular LFTs and reduction of risk behaviors is essential for preventing patients from HCV-related liver disease progression.

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