Hepatitis-C virus infection among injecting drug users in Lahore, Pakistan: A cross sectional study
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus among injecting drugs users, furthermore different genotypes of HCV infection and their effect on viral load were also found and subsequently most prevalent subtype was predicted.
Methods: All samples were processed for Anti-HCV antibody detection through ELISA by using third generation ELISA Kit. The Anti-HCV positive serum samples were stored for RT-PCR to estimate the viral load and genotypes of HCV for study. Injecting drug users selected from in and around Lahore Metropolitan from July 2012 to August 2013 was included. The data analysis was completed by using SPSS version 16. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered to be significant.
Results: A total of 241 Injecting drug users were enrolled and screened for Anti HCV in the study. Prevalence of HCV infection in IDUs from Lahore was found to be 36.09%. Education (p=0.000), low socioeconomic status (p=0.011), Blood transfusion (0.003), any tattoo on the body (p=0.002), use of injectable drugs with reused syringes (p=0.000) and sharing of syringes (p=0.001) in groups was significantly associated with HCV infection. Some utensils were also significantly associated with HCV status. The most common subtype of HCV genotype was 3a (n=65) followed by 2a (n=15) and 1a (n=6).
Conclusion: The study reveals that IDUs with reused syringes status and sharing of syringes in group had more chances to get HCV infection. The viral load in IDUs infected with different subtypes of genotype was significantly associated.
How to cite this:Akhtar AM, Majeed S, Jamil M, Rehman A, Majeed S. Hepatitis-C virus infection among injecting drug users in Lahore, Pakistan: A cross sectional study. Pak J Med Sci. 2016;32(2):373-378. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.12669/pjms.322.9038
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