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Prevalence and estimation of hepatitis B and C infections in the WHO European Region: a review of data focusing on the countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Association

  • V. D. HOPE (a1) (a2), I. ERAMOVA (a3), D. CAPURRO (a3) and M. C. DONOGHOE (a3)
Summary

Knowledge of hepatitis B and C prevalence, and numbers infected, are important for planning responses. Published HBsAg and anti-HCV prevalences for the 20 WHO European Region countries outside the EU/EFTA were extracted, to complement published data for the EU/EFTA. The general population prevalence of HBsAg (median 3·8%, mean 5·0%, seven countries) ranged from 1·3% (Ukraine) to 13% (Uzbekistan), and anti-HCV (median 2·3%, mean 3·8%, 10 countries) from 0·5% (Serbia, Tajikistan) to 13% (Uzbekistan). People who inject drugs had the highest prevalence of both infections (HBsAg: median 6·8%, mean 8·2%, 13 countries; anti-HCV: median 46%, mean 46%, 17 countries), and prevalence was also elevated in men who have sex with men and sex workers. Simple estimates indicated 13·3 million (1·8%) adults have HBsAg and 15·0 million (2·0%) HCV RNA in the WHO European Region; prevalences were higher outside the EU/EFTA countries. Efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat these infections need to be maintained and improved.

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Copyright
The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence .
Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence: Dr V. D. Hope, Centre for Research on Drugs & Health Behaviour, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK. (Email: vivian.hope@lshtm.ac.uk)
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