Home > Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV and risk factors in Irish prisoners: results of a national cross sectional survey

Allwright, Shane and Bradley, Fiona and Long, Jean and Barry, Joseph and Thornton, Lelia and Parry, John V (2000) Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV and risk factors in Irish prisoners: results of a national cross sectional survey. British Medical Journal , 321 , (7253) , pp. 78-82.

URL: http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/321/72...

The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen, hepatitis C virus, and HIV in the prison population of the Republic of Ireland and to examine risk factors for infection. The study used a cross sectional, anonymous, unlinked survey, with self completed risk factor questionnaire and provision of oral fluid specimen for antibody testing. The study was carried out in nine of the 15 prisons in the Republic of Ireland, with 1366 prisoners, of whom 1205 (57 women) participated. In the smaller prisons all prisoners were surveyed, while in the three largest prisons one half of the population was randomly sampled. Three small prisons believed not to have a problem with injecting drug use were excluded.

The main outcome measures were prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen, antibodies to hepatitis C virus, and antibodies to HIV. Self reported risk factor status. Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen was 104/1193 (8.7%; 95% confidence interval 7.2% to 10.5%), to hepatitis C virus, 442/1193 (37%; 34.3% to 39.9%), and to HIV, 24/1193 (2%; 1.3% to 3%). The most important predictor of being positive for hepatitis B and hepatitis C was a history of injecting drug use. Thirty four women (60%) and 474 men (42%) reported ever injecting drugs. A fifth (104) of 501 injecting drug users reported first injecting in prison, and 347 (71%) users reported sharing needles in prison. The authors concluded that infection with hepatitis C secondary to use of injected drugs is endemic in Irish prisons. Better access to harm reduction strategies is needed in this environment

 

Item Type:Article
Date:2000
Call No:GH16, MO6, VH4.2
Page Range:pp. 78-82
Publisher:BMJ Publishing
Volume:321
Number:7253
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB 2502 (Available)
Related URLs:
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Correctional system and facility > Prison
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > Hepatitis C
T Demographic characteristics > Intravenous / injecting drug user
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Prison-based health service
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Communicable disease > Hepatitis B

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