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10 million injecting drug users worldwide have hepatitis C

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Date Published:
28 Jul 2011

To coincide with World Hepatitis Day on 28 July , The Lancet has published an article online detailing the first global estimates of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection prevalence in injecting drug users (IDUs).

It is estimated 10 million IDUs have been exposed to HCV (range six to 15 million), equal to approximately 67 per cent of the global IDU population. The authors also estimate 1.3 million (range 0.3 to 2.7 million) IDUs have HBV infection.

The study was funded by NDARC along with the US National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organisation's HIV Department. Among the authors is NDARC's Paul Nelson.

The authors highlighted that the public health response to blood-borne virus transmission in IDUs has mainly centred on HIV.

“Maintenance and strengthening of the response to HIV in IDUs remains crucial, but the significance of viral hepatitis needs to receive greater attention than it does at present," the authors said.

To view the full article and findings, click here.