Journal Article

Overcoming Barriers to Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Hepatitis C in Illicit Drug Users

Brian R. Edlin, Thomas F. Kresina, Daniel B. Raymond, Michael R. Carden, Marc N. Gourevitch, Josiah D. Rich, Laura W. Cheever and Victoria A. Cargill

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue Supplement_5, pages S276-S285
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427441
Overcoming Barriers to Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Hepatitis C in Illicit Drug Users

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Injection drug use accounts for most of the incident infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States and other developed countries. HCV infection is a complex and challenging medical condition in injection drug users (IDUs). Elements of care for hepatitis C in illicit drug users include prevention counseling and education; screening for transmission risk behavior; testing for HCV and human immunodeficiency virus infection; vaccination against hepatitis A and B viruses; evaluation for comorbidities; coordination of substance-abuse treatment services, psychiatric care, and social support; evaluation of liver disease; and interferon-based treatment for HCV infection. Caring for patients who use illicit drugs presents challenges to the health-care team that require patience, experience, and an understanding of the dynamics of substance use and addiction. Nonetheless, programs are successfully integrating hepatitis C care for IDUs into health-care settings, including primary care, methadone treatment and other substance-abuse treatment programs, infectious disease clinics, and clinics in correctional facilities.

Journal Article.  7963 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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