Journal Article

Opportunities to Address the Hepatitis C Epidemic in the Correctional Setting

Amy E. Boutwell, Scott A. Allen and Josiah D. Rich

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue Supplement_5, pages S367-S372
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427455
Opportunities to Address the Hepatitis C Epidemic in the Correctional Setting

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An estimated 15%–40% of incarcerated persons in the United States are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Approximately 1.4 million HCV-infected persons pass through the corrections system annually, accounting for one-third of the total number of HCV-infected persons in the United States. This high prevalence of HCV infection is due to the substantial increase in drug-related arrests over the past 2 decades. Although the hepatitis C epidemic in the corrections system may be viewed as a burden on correctional health systems, it is an important public health opportunity and an obligation. Research on the implementation of cost-effective HCV screening, prevention, and treatment programs among incarcerated persons is essential. Testing, education, and, when appropriate, treatment of prisoners should be a cornerstone of the public health response to the hepatitis C epidemic in the United States.

Journal Article.  3831 words.  Illustrated.

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

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