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Hepat Mon. 2013 Aug 17;13(8):e12411. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.12411. eCollection 2013.

Effectiveness of Methadone Maintenance Treatment in Prevention of Hepatitis C Virus Transmission among Injecting Drug Users.

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Baqiatallah Research Center for Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, Baqiatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran ; Middle East Liver Disease Center, Tehran, IR Iran.



Injecting drug users (IDUs) are a major and most important risk factor for rising hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence in Iran.


The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) in prevention of HCV infection transmission among IDUs.


A mathematical modeling has been used to estimate number of HCV infections averted. The input parameters used in the model were collected by self-reported method from 259 IDUs before registering and one year after MMT. Nonparametric statistical tests have been used to compare risky injecting and sexual behaviors among IDUs before and after participating in MMT program. Deterministic sensitivity analyses were done to show the effects of parameters' uncertainty on outcome.


Of the 259 participants, 98.4% (255) were men, the mean age ± SD was 33.1 ± 7.58 years and HCV prevalence was 50%. The studied IDUs reported lower rate of risky injecting and sexual behavior after participation in MMT program. The cumulative incidence of HCV per 100 IDUs due to sharing injection and unsafe sexual contact with MMT program were 13.84 (95% CI: 6.17 -21.51), 0.0003 (0.0001 - 0.0005) and without it 36.48 (25.84 - 47.11) and 0.0004 (0.0002-0.0006) respectively.


The MMT program is an effective intervention to prevent HCV infection transmission, although it is essential to compare its effectiveness with other interventions before implementing it in nationwide.


Effectiveness; Hepatitis C; Incidence; Iran; Maintenance; Methadone

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