Evidence for a substantial role of sharing of injecting paraphernalia other than syringes/needles to the spread of hepatitis C among injecting drug users

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Abstract

SUMMARY

In industrialized countries, transmission of hepatitis C occurs primarily through injecting drug use. Transmission of hepatitis C in injecting drug users is mainly associated with the sharing of contaminated syringes/needles, although evidence for risk of hepatitis C infection through sharing of other injecting paraphernalia is increasing. In this paper, the independent effects of sharing paraphernalia other than syringes/needles have been estimated. The prevalence and force of infection were modelled using three serological data sets from drug users in three centres in Belgium as a function of the sharing behaviour. It was found that sharing of materials other than syringes/needles indeed seemed to contribute substantially to the spread of hepatitis C among injecting drug users.

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