p. 889 Incidence of hepatitis C virus infection among injection drug users during an outbreak of HIV infection – D.M. Patrick
Beginning in 1994, Vancouver experienced an explosive outbreak of HIV infection among injection drug users (IDUs). Also of great concern was the high rate of infection with hepatitis C (HCV) among the same IDUs. The authors recruited IDUs in Vancouver through a study site and street outreach program in order to measure the prevalence and incidence of HCV infection among a cohort of IDUs. The authors found that, as of Nov. 30, 1999, 1345 subjects had been recruited into the study and the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was 81.6% at enrolment. Sixty-two HCV seroconversions occurred among 155 IDUs who were initially HCV negative. The authors found that independent correlates of HCV seroconversion include being a female, cocaine use, injecting at least daily and frequent attendance at a needle-exchange program. The authors warn that because their study and others indicate extreme pressure toward HCV transmission among seronegative IDUs, prevention efforts should be expanded.