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Factors associated with recently acquired hepatitis C virus infection in people who inject drugs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: new findings from an unlinked anonymous monitoring survey

  • K. J. Cullen (a1), V. D. Hope (a1) (a2), S. Croxford (a1), J. Shute (a1), F. Ncube (a1) and J.V. Parry (a1) (a2)...
Summary

Monitoring infections and risk in people who inject drugs (PWID) is important for informing public health responses. In 2011, a novel hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) avidity-testing algorithm to identify samples compatible with recent primary infection was introduced into a national surveillance survey. PWID are recruited annually, through >60 needle-and-syringe programmes and prescribing services. Of the 980 individuals that could have been at risk of HCV infection, there were 20 (2%) samples that were compatible with recent primary infection. These were more common among: those imprisoned ⩾5 times [8/213; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 8·7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·04–37·03]; women (8/230; aOR 3·8, 95% CI 1·41–10·38); and those ever-infected with hepatitis B (5/56; aOR 6·25, 95% CI 2·12–18·43). This study is the first to apply this algorithm and to examine the risk factors associated with recently acquired HCV infection in a national sample of PWID in the UK. These findings highlight underlying risks and suggest targeted interventions are needed.

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      Factors associated with recently acquired hepatitis C virus infection in people who inject drugs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: new findings from an unlinked anonymous monitoring survey
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Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence: Miss K. J. Cullen, Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK. (Email: katelyn.cullen@phe.gov.uk)
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