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Indian J Virol. 2011 Dec;22(2):77-83. doi: 10.1007/s13337-011-0041-4. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

High Prevalence of Hepatitis C virus Among Injection Drug Users in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China.

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1
Institute of Life Sciences, Jiangsu University, 301 Xuefu Road, Zhenjiang, 212013 Jiangsu China.

Abstract

The constant increase in the number of drug users and rapidly spread of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among drug users result in a serious public health problem in China. To investigate HCV prevalence among drug users in Zhenjiang city, Jiangsu, China, 207 drug users from Zhenjiang were enrolled in this study during 2009 and the prevalence of HCV, HIV and syphilis infection were detected. HCV prevalence among injection drug users (IDUs) was 81.6%, significantly higher than that (22.9%) among oral drug users (P < 0.001), suggesting a strong association of HCV infection with injection drug use (IDU). Most drug users were more than 25 years old (89.2%), single (60.5%, including single and divorced/widowed), and had a history of drug abuse over 6 years (92.9%). HCV prevalence among drug users with middle (72.6%) or high (83.8%) school diplomas was significantly higher than that among those with lower (46.9%) education level (P = 0.007). HCV prevalence among IDUs did not obviously change along with the increase in duration of drug use and in frequency of injection per day, suggesting less association of HCV infection with both variables. These results suggest that most Chinese addicts might start drug use after their middle/high school education. To reduce drug use and to prevent HIV and HCV transmission via IDU, large-scale drug prevention educations should be urgently conducted in all China's middle and high schools.

KEYWORDS:

Education level; HCV; Injection drug use (IDU); Jiangsu; Middle and high school

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