Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C and association with intravenous drug abuse and tattooing in a national prison in Norway

Health Service, Bergen National Prison, Norway.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.67). 09/1993; 12(9):673-6. DOI: 10.1007/BF02009378
Source: PubMed


A study was performed in order to determine the prevalence of anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, the risk factors for HCV infection and the markers of hepatic disease in a population of prisoners. Of 101 new prisoners admitted to a Norwegian national prison over a three month period, 70 were included in the study, of whom 32 (46%) were anti-HCV positive. Intravenous drug abuse was the predominant risk factor for HCV infection, although a history of tattooing was found by logistic regression analysis to be a significant risk factor independent of intravenous drug abuse. Most anti-HCV positive prisoners had a history of previous incarcerations. Among the anti-HCV positive subjects, increased alanine aminotransferase (> 50 U/l) was found in 23 (72%). HCV infection was the major cause of hepatic abnormalities in the study population. Only 15 (47%) of the anti-HCV positive prisoners reported knowledge of previous hepatic disease.

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    • "Given the linkage with illicit drug use, HCV is also a special problem for PLHIV in prisons [9]. In addition to risk-prone illicit drug use, unsafe tattooing contributes to HCV infection in prisons [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: For persons living with HIV, hepatitis C is a major public health problem that must be controlled and could be eliminated. The challenge arises because the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is prevalent among HIV-infected persons in most parts of the world, because HIV worsens all HCV outcomes, and because HCV may add additional individual economic and psychosocial complications to HIV disease. Despite the major benefits of antiretroviral therapy on HIV outcomes, antiretroviral therapy is not sufficient to halt the complications of HCV. Nonetheless, HCV can be controlled at all stages, including prevention of infection and cure. Thus, HCV is an eradicable disease. There are significant inequalities worldwide in HCV control that could markedly constrain the impact of these measures.
    Journal of the International AIDS Society 05/2011; 14(1):22. DOI:10.1186/1758-2652-14-22 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    • "A number of studies have identified parental, sexual, and other drug-related risk factors associated with HCV infection. Risk factors deemed to be associated with HCV infection include: injection drug use, sexual contact, tattooing and ear piercing, intranasal cocaine use, organ transplantation, and occupational exposure to blood among health care workers (Alter and Mast 1994; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1991; Holsen et al., 1993; Murphy et al., 2000; Nowicki et al., 1994; Ruiz et al., 1999; Villano et al., 1997). "
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