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Am J Public Health. 2001 Jan;91(1):38-42.

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

Author information

  • 1Public Health Laboratory Service, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, 61 Colindale Ave, London NW9 5EQ, United Kingdom. vhope@phls.org.uk

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.

PMID:
11189821
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1446497
Free PMC Article
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