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Alan Franciscus
HCV Advocate

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hepatitis B and C Prevalent in Injecting Drug Users

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus surface antigens (HBsAg) are common in injecting drug users (IDUs), with an estimated 10.0 million IDUs positive for HCV and 1.2 million for HBsAg, according to a review published online July 28 in The Lancet.

The investigators found that, based on eligible reports with anti-HCV prevalence data from IDUs in 77 counties, the midpoint anti-HCV prevalence was 60 to 80 percent in 25 countries and more than 80 percent in 12 countries; worldwide, there might be up to 10 million anti-HCV-positive IDUs, with the highest numbers in China, the United States, and Russia. Eligible HBsAg reports were identified for 59 countries, with midpoint prevalence of 5 to 10 percent in 21 countries and more than 10 percent in 10 countries. Overall, an estimated 6.4 million and 1.2 million IDUs were anti-HBc positive and HBsAg positive, respectively.

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