Seroprevalence of and Risk Factors Associated With Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Among Prisoners in Iran

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Introduction:Prisons are human incubators in which some people with different behaviors live together, and after they gain freedom, many of these prisoners will come back to the community. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk factors for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in Iranian prisoners.Methods:This case-control study is done on 1431 Iranian prisoners who were arrested because of drug-related offenses. After getting information and performing the tests for HBV, HCV, and HIV infection, the odds ratio (OR) was calculated for every risk factor.Results:A total of 1431 prisoners was studied, out of them, 1153 had a history of addiction to a narcotic drug, and 28% of them were intravenous drug users (IDUs). This study revealed that tattoo is the most important risk factor for HBV infection in Iranian prisoners (OR, 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-3.43). It also revealed that the most important risk factor for HCV and HIV infections is IDU (OR, 14.73; 95% CI, 11.13-19.50; and OR, 4.48; 95% CI, 2.89-6.93, respectively).Conclusions:It seems that there are many various risk factors in Iranian prisons for blood-borne infections (HBV, HCV, and HIV), and it should be emphasized that in Iranian prisons, IDU and sharing needle, razor, and tattooing equipments are the major risk factors for these infections, and harm reduction programs should be focused on these problems in Iran.

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