Journal Article

Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Injection Drug Users: Prevention, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Markus Backmund, Jens Reimer, Kirsten Meyer, J. Tilman Gerlach and Reinhart Zachoval

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue Supplement_5, pages S330-S335
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427475
Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Injection Drug Users: Prevention, Risk Factors, and Treatment

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Injection drug users (IDUs) are the largest group of persons infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), with a prevalence of 50%–90%. The transmission of HCV is not the effect of the drug injected but of sharing contaminated equipment. For the sake of prevention, we have to know which factors are more likely to lead to HCV seroconversion and which particular situations and environments are risk factors for equipment sharing. As far as therapy is concerned, some studies have shown that treatment for HCV infection in IDUs during substitution treatment for drug dependency is as successful as is treatment of patients who are not IDUs. Screening and early treatment of IDUs could play an important role in controlling HCV infection. The rate of reinfection may not as high as supposed. All studies dealing with treatment for HCV infection in IDUs have stressed the necessity of collaboration among hepatologists and specialists in addiction medicine, social workers, and psychotherapists.

Journal Article.  4174 words.  Illustrated.

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

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