Title
Prevalence of hepatitis C in drug users in Flanders: determinants and geographic differences Prevalence of hepatitis C in drug users in Flanders: determinants and geographic differences
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Epidemiology and infection. - London, 1987, currens
Volume/pages
133(2005) :1 , p. 127-136
ISSN
0950-2688
1469-4409
ISI
000227428300017
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The prevalence of hepatitis C and related risk factors in drug users were compared in two geographic regions in Belgium, the city of Antwerp and the mixed urbanrural area of Limburg. All 310 participants were surveyed and screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Prevalence rates of anti-HCV, anti-HBc and anti-HIV were 71, 62 and 4% in Antwerp and 46, 21 and 0% in Limburg respectively. Injecting drug use, duration of injecting drug use, work as a commercial sex-worker, originating from Turkey or Northern Africa, marginalization and anti-HBc positivity were identified as independent predictors for hepatitis C infection. In this study an important difference in HCV seroprevalence among drug users in a methadone maintenance programme across two geographic regions in Belgium was demonstrated. This was explained not only by variations in drug-related risk behaviour, but also by differences in sexual risk behaviour and socio-economic status.
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