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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Jul 1;41 Suppl 1:S83-8.

Integrating care for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and primary care for HIV for injection drug users coinfected with HIV and HCV.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Injection drug use accounts for most of the incident infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and for at least one-third of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. Coinfection with HCV and HIV presents complex and challenging medical conditions. Ensuring access to and maintaining care for HIV and HCV for drug users presents special challenges to the health care team that require a nonjudgmental attitude, experience, and patience. Care for HCV infection, however, can be used as an instrument to engage drug-using persons in ongoing primary care relationships. Common elements to both care for HCV infection and primary care for HIV infection are testing for and counseling about HCV and HIV, substance abuse and mental health services, social support, and subspecialty referral. These elements, in particular treatment for substance abuse, can be focal points for model care systems that provide integrative care for both HCV and HIV infections.

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