Home > Assessment of hepatitis C infection in injecting drug users attending an addiction treatment clinic.

Smyth, Bobby P and Keenan, Eamon and O'Connor, John J (2000) Assessment of hepatitis C infection in injecting drug users attending an addiction treatment clinic. Irish Journal of Medical Science , 169 , (2) , pp. 129-132.

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Injecting drug users represent a high risk group of hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Currently screening of this group for HCV is inconsistently implemented. A HCV assessment algorithm was designed and used to determine the frequency with which injecting drug users completed the assessment process. The algorithm was piloted in the setting of a specialised outpatient addiction treatment clinic.

Participants consisted of consecutive new attenders over a six month period with a history of injecting. Only 21 (18%) of 119 patients reached a satisfactory endpoint of assessment. Forty-eight injectors were tested for antibody to HCV, of whom 26 (54%) tested positive. Thirteen of those with positive test results were no longer attending when the test result became available. Only 4 of the 19 patients who were referred, attended the on-site hepatology clinic. Thorough screening of injecting drug users for HCV within one treatment service is difficult. A need is identified for explicit policies on this issue involving co-operation between primary care providers and addiction services and hepatology services.


Item Type:Article
Date:2000
Page Range:pp. 129-132
Publisher:Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland
Volume:169
Number:2
EndNote:View
Subjects:T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > Hepatitis C
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Identification and screening
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland > Dublin

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