Prevalence of hepatitis C among injection drug users in England and Wales: is harm reduction working?


Hope, VD; Judd, A; Hickman, M; Lamagni, T; Hunter, G; Stimson, GV; Jones, S; Donovan, L; Parry, JV; Gill, ON; (2001) Prevalence of hepatitis C among injection drug users in England and Wales: is harm reduction working? American journal of public health, 91 (1). pp. 38-42. ISSN 0090-0036

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to establish the prevalence of hepatitis C antibodies (anti-HCV) and hepatitis B antibodies (anti-HBc) among injection drug users in England and Wales. METHODS: A voluntary cross-sectional survey collected oral fluid samples and behavioral information; 2203 injectors were recruited through drug agencies, and 758 were recruited in the community. RESULTS: Prevalence was 30% for anti-HCV, 21% for anti-HBc, and 0.9% for HIV antibodies. Anti-HCV prevalence rates were significantly greater among those with longer injecting careers, those in older age groups, those residing in London, those recruited in drug agencies, those positive for anti-HBc, and those with a previous voluntary HIV test. CONCLUSIONS: Anti-HCV prevalence rates among injectors in England and Wales, where comprehensive harm reduction programs exist, are lower than rates in other industrialized countries.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 11189821
Web of Science ID: 166115100009
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/11674

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