Home > The seroprevalence of untreated chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and associated risk factors in male Irish prisoners: a cross-sectional study, 2017.

Crowley, Desmond and Lambert, John S and Betts-Symonds, Graham and Cullen, Walter and Keevans, Mary and Kelly, Enda and Laird, Eamon and McHugh, Tina and McKiernan, Susan and Miggin, Sarah Jayne and Murphy, Carol and Murtagh, Ross and O'Reilly, Deirdre and Tobin, Ciara and Van Hout, Marie Claire (2019) The seroprevalence of untreated chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and associated risk factors in male Irish prisoners: a cross-sectional study, 2017. Euro Surveillance , 24 , (14) .

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC64627...

Introduction
Data on chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection prevalence in European prisons are incomplete and impact the public health opportunity that incarceration provides.
Aims
We aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of untreated chronic HCV infection and to identify associated risk factors in an Irish male prison.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study involving a researcher-administered questionnaire, review of medical records and HCV serology.
Results
Of 422 prisoners (78.0% of the study population) who participated in the study, 298 (70.6%) completed the questionnaire and 403 (95.5%) were tested for HCV antibodies. Of those tested, 92 (22.8%) were HCV antibody-positive, and of those, 53 (57.6%) were HCV RNA-positive, 23 (25.0%) had spontaneous clearance, 16 (17.4%) had a sustained viral response, 10 (11.0%) were co-infected with HIV and six (6.0%) with HBV. The untreated chronic HCV seroprevalence estimate was 13.1% and the seroprevalence of HCV among prisoners with a history of injecting drug use (IDU) was 79.7%. Risk factors significantly associated with past HCV infection were IDU (p < 0.0001), having received a prison tattoo (p < 0.0001) or a non-sterile community tattoo (p < 0.0001), sharing needles and other drug-taking paraphernalia (p < 0.0001). Small numbers of prisoners had a history of sharing razors (n=10; 3.4%) and toothbrushes (n=3; 1.0%) while incarcerated. On multivariable analysis, history of receiving a non-sterile community tattoo was the only significant risk factor associated with HCV acquisition (after IDU was removed from the model) (p = 0.005, β = 0.468).ConclusionThe level of untreated chronic HCV infection in Irish prisons is high, with IDU the main associated risk.


Item Type:Article
Date:2019
Publisher:Euro Surveillance
Volume:24
Number:14
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence
G Health and disease > Etiology > Disease transmission factor > Needle sharing
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > HIV
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > Hepatitis C
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors
MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user
T Demographic characteristics > Prison Inmate (prisoner)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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