Paper Information

Journal:   ARCHIVES OF IRANIAN MEDICINE   July 2001 , Volume 4 , Number 3; Page(s) 115 To 119.
 
Paper: 

ANTI-HCV ANTIBODY AMONG IRANIAN IV DRUG USERS: IS IT A SERIOUS PROBLEM?

 
 
Author(s):  ZALI MOHAMMAD REZA, AGHAZADEH R., NOWROOZI A., AMIR-RASOULY H.
 
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Abstract: 
Background-Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted mainly via sexual contacts and blood (or its products’) transfusion. Transmission of this virus by contaminated needles used by IV drug users has raised great concern. Objective-In the present survey, the rate of HCV infection among a group of IV drug users was investigated and some important risk factors of the virus transmission were determined. Methods-A total of 402 male IV drug users from Ghasr Prison in Tehran, Iran, entered the study (1995). At the stage of blood sampling, a questionnaire including demographic data; history of blood transfusion, tattooing and cupping (or Hejamat, the traditional way of phlebotomy in Iran) was also filled for every enrolled prisoner. HCV 3.0 ELISA and RIBA II were used to detect the HCV antibody and antigen in blood sera, respectively. Data were analyzed using Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests. Results-HCV antibody was found in the sera of 182 of 402 cases (45.3%). Seventy-three of 182 (40.1%) HCV antibody-positive persons had a history of tattooing. All cases with a history of cupping were antibody positive. There was a statistically significant relationship between antibody positivity and having a history of tattooing/cupping (p< 0.005). Other risk factors did not seem to have a significant relationship with HCV antibody positivity. Conclusion-Similar to the findings of many developed and developing countries, a high rate of hepatitis C infection is present among Iranian IV drug users. We believe that tattooing and cupping are two important risk factors associated with HCV infection in IV drug users in Iran.
 
Keyword(s): HCV ANTIBODY • RISK FACTORS • IV DRUG USERS • IRAN
 
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