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European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. [EMCDDA] (2011) Hepatitis and drug use.


EMCDDA thematic page on hepatitis and drug use.

In Europe, injecting drug use is a major transmission route for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Estimates suggest that around 1 million people who have injected drugs may be living with HCV in the EU today. Typically between 40 % and 90 % of injecting drug users are infected, and many contract the disease soon after their first injection. This is due to unsafe injecting practices which include sharing of needles/syringes and other injection materials. The high prevalence of HCV infection among drug injectors represents a serious public health problem for the EU, made worse by the fact that many of those who have contracted the virus are unaware of their infection status. HCV infection may lead to severe chronic liver disease and premature death. This can occur after many years of asymptomatic infection.

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