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Risk Factors of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Drug Users From Eleven Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinics in Xi’an, China

AUTHORS

wei xiaoli 1 , Wang Lirong 1 , Wang Xueliang 1 , * , Li Jinsong 2 , Li Hengxin 2 , Jia Wei 3

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi’an, China

2 Xi’an Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xi’an, China

3 Methadone Maintenance Therapy Clinic, Xi’an Mental Health Center, Xi’an, China

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Hepatitis Monthly: 14 (11); e93072
Published Online: November 23, 2014
Article Type: Research Article
Received: May 06, 2019
Accepted: November 08, 2014
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Abstract

Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rates in drug users vary among different regions of China. Drug users who are unaware of their HCV serostatus tend to engage in more risky behaviors.

Objectives: This prospective study aimed to assess risk factors of HCV infection in drug users among 11 methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clinics in Xi’an, China.

Patients and Methods: Baseline characteristics and drug use information of patients were collected upon enrollment in the study and anti-HCV tests were performed within one month after the enrollment. Data on daily medication, monthly random urine morphine test results, illicit drug use and MMT retention time were recorded during a 5-year follow-up.

Results: Of 10243 patients, 58.0% had positive results for anti-HCV. Injection drug use, longer duration of drug abuse, older age, female gender, unmarried status and unemployment were independent risk factors of HCV infection. Urine test positivity rate was lower (14.8% vs. 16.7%, χ2 = 100.235, P < 0.05), but MMT retention rate was higher (log-rank χ2 = 4.397, P < 0.05) in the anti-HCV positive group than anti-HCV negative one. However, multivariate regression revealed no significant association between anti-HCV serostatus and either MMT retention time or illicit drug use.

Conclusions: The major risk factor of HCV infection was injection drug use. The patient’s awareness of his or her HCV status had a minor effect in reduction of illicit drug use and improvement in MMT retention. Therefore, adequate counseling is necessary for drug users in MMT clinics in Xi’an.

Keywords

Methadone Maintenance Treatment Injection Drug User

© 2014, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
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