Hepatitis C virus infection among injecting drug users in Scotland: a review of prevalence and incidence data and the methods used to generate them.

K.M. Roy, S.J. Hutchinson, S. Wadd, A. Taylor, S.O. Cameron, S Burns, P. Molyneaux, P.G. McIntyre, David Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is estimated that of 50000 persons in Scotland (1% of the county's population), infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), around 90% injected drugs. This paper reviews data on the prevalence and incidence of HCV, and the methods used to generate such information, among injecting drug users (IDUs), in Scotland. The prevalence estimate for HCV among IDUs in Scotland as a whole (44% in 2000), is comparable with those observed in many European countries. Incidence rates ranged from 11·9 to 28·4/100 person-years. The data have shaped policy to prevent infection among IDUs and have informed predictions of the number of HCV-infected IDUs who will likely progress to, and require treatment and care for, severe HCV-related liver disease. Although harm reduction interventions, in particular needle and syringe exchanges and methadone maintenance therapy, reduced the transmission of HCV among IDUs during the early to mid-1990s, incidence in many parts of the country remains high. The prevention of HCV among IDUs continues to be one of Scotland's major public health challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-442
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume135
Issue number3
Early online date8 Aug 2006
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

Keywords

  • hepatitis C
  • injecting drug users
  • prevalence data
  • incidence data

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