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  • Perceptions of drug users regarding Hepatitis C screening and care: a qualitative study

    Posted on June 21st, 2013 TimB No comments

    Illicit drug users have a high prevalence of HCV and represent the majority of newly infected persons in the U.S. Despite the availability of effective HCV treatment, few drug users have been evaluated or treated for HCV. Racial and ethnic minorities have a higher incidence and prevalence of HCV and higher HCV-related mortality. Factors contributing to poor engagement in care are incompletely understood. The study concludes  Drug users perceived a paucity of settings for self-initiated HCV testing and poor provider patient communication at test sites and during medical encounters. Notably, drug users reported having an unclear understanding about the meaning of a positive HCV test, the health implications of HCV infection, the importance of clinical evaluations and monitoring, and of treatment options for HCV. Efforts to improve the delivery of clinical messages about HCV infection for drug users at test settings and clinical encounters are needed.

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  • Ireland National Hepatitis C Strategy 2011-2014

    Posted on September 5th, 2012 TimB No comments

     

    Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by a virus identified in 1989 as the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is a communicable disease that is spread from person to person by contact with infected blood or body fluids. Intravenous drug use and receipt of unscreened blood or blood products are well established as the major risk factors for the acquisition of hepatitis C infection. In comparison with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and hepatitis B, the virus is much less likely to be spread through sexual contact, household contact or by motherto-child transmission. The distribution of hepatitis C globally differs by time, place and person. In Ireland those  at risk of infection are most often socially excluded groups such as drug users, the homeless and immigrants  from endemic countries.

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