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Blood borne infections among injecting drug users

Summary of Sweden's First Baseline Study on Blood Borne Infections among Injecting Drug Users

The Karolinksa Institute, Sweden

This Baseline study included 1145 persons who were tested for the blood-borne infections HIV, hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) between July 1, 2007 and August 31, 2008.

Almost all participants were interviewed about their drug and sexual habits. Serum Antibodies against hepatitis A virus (HAV) were also analysed. Since HAV, however, contaminates via the oral route and not via injections, these data are not reported in this study.

Fifty-one of 720 (7.1%) Active IDUs and sixty-three (5.5%) of all tested persons (1145) were HIV positive. Somewhat less than one third, 17 persons, of the 63 HIV positive were newly diagnosed with HIV infection, i.e. their infection was revealed through the study.

In the Active IDU group, 82 % were HCV positive as compared to 11 % of the interviewees who stated that they had never injected. The majority of the Active IDUs (50%) had been infected with HBV and one percent of the group were chronic carriers of the virus, i.e. contagious. Eleven percent had been vaccinated against HBV before being tested within the study.

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