Hepatitis C Virus and Associated Risk Factors among Prison Inmates with History of Drug Injection in Isfahan, Iran

Nazila Kassaian, Peyman Adibi, Alireza Kafashaian, Majid Yaran, Zary Nokhodian, Parisa Shoaei, Razieh Hassannjead, Anahita Babak, Behrooz Ataei


Objectives: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem worldwide with serious complications. According to the importance of intravenous drug use (IDU) as the main risk factor for HCV infection and transmission and prison as the main source of risky behaviors, this study conducted to define HCV infection and related risk factors in prison inmates with history of IDU in Isfahan province, Iran.

Methods: This is a cross –sectional study which the prison inmates with IDU history in voluntary basis were enrolled. A validated questionnaire was asked and blood sample was obtained from each subject for the presence of HCV antibody. Odds ratio and logistic regression were used for data analysis and P-value < 0.05 considered significant.

Results: I943 inmates with history of IDU participated in the study. The overall prevalence of HCV antibody was 41.6%. The main independent risk factors were number of injection in the month [OR: 1.006 (1.002- 1.011)], Length of drug addiction [OR: 1.05 (1.004-1.098)], multiple incarceration [OR: 1.15 (1.05-1.23)] and use of needle/syringe share inside prison [OR: 4.19 (2.22-7.9)]. In our study, marriage was a protective factor for HCV infection [OR: 0.34 (0.18-0.64)] as well.

Conclusions: According to relatively high prevalence of HCV infection and associated risk factors which observed in this study it is important to primary prevention in prisons through syringe/needle exchange and counsel with imprisoned IDUs.

Keywords: HCV, IDU, Prison

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