Hepatitis C virus seroprevalence and associated risk factors among male drug injectors in Kermanshah, Iran
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© 2017, Hepatitis Monthly. Background: Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is increasingly recognized as a major global health problem. Objectives: The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of HCV infection and determine the risk factors associated with HCV among male people who inject drugs (PWID) in Kermanshah, Iran. Methods: In this cross sectional study, the samples were recruited from 2 drop-in centers and related community outreach sites, using snowball sampling. The questionnaire consisted of 3 sections, including demographics, drug use patterns, and risky behaviors. HCV infection was tested in venous blood samples, collected from the participants, using the ABON rapid test kit. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between HCV status and the associated factors, reported as odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: The mean age of the participants was 36.7 ± 8.5 years (range, 18 - 65 years). Over half of the participants (54.8%) tested positive for HCV antibodies; in other words, they had been exposed to the virus. Adjusted OR for people reporting shared equipments within the past month was 3.36 times higher than the OR of people who reported no shared equipments (P = 0.000). The adjusted OR of positive HCV among those who injected twice or more per day was 4.33 (P = 0.000), compared to those who injected only once a day (or less). With over half the participants having evidence of HCV exposure, there is a need to increase the coverage of harmreduction programs, especially sterile injection equipment programs. Moreover, increasing access to harm-reduction programs and HCV treatment can ultimately reduce the opportunities for HCV transmission.
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