Background: The purpose of this study was to explore the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and to determine the risk factors for HCV infection among heroin abusers in Taiwan. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. From November 2004 to February 2005, 577 subjects, including 423 subjects (73.3%) using injectable heroin and 154 subjects (26.7%) using smoked heroin from one male prison located in Taiwan, were enrolled in this study. The mean age was 33.3 ± 7.9 years (age range 19-65 years). Anti-HCV antibody was tested. A face-to-face interview focusing on sociodemographic information and risk behaviors was addressed. The t test, χ2 test, and multivariate logistic regression were used. Results: The overall prevalence of anti-HCV antibody positivity was 74.9%, with 89.8% among injecting heroin abusers and 33.8% among smoking heroin abusers (P <0.0001). The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that needle sharing was independently related to HCV infection (odds ratio = 5.25, 95% confidence interval = 2.48-11.12). Conclusions: The prevalence of anti-HCV antibody positivity among male injecting drug abusers is high in Taiwan. Needle sharing is identified as a potential risk factor for HCV infection.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Southern Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2006|
- Hepatitis C
- Heroin abuser
- Needle sharing
ASJC Scopus subject areas