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Prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections and their relationship to injectable drug use in a cohort of Sri Lankan prison inmates

Authors:

MA Niriella,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About MA
Department of Medicin
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A Hapangama,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About A
Department of Psychiatry
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HPDP Luke ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About HPDP
Department of Medicine
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A Pathmeswaran,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About A
Department of Public Health
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KALA Kuruppuarachchi,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About KALA
Department of Psychiatry
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HJ de Silva

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
About HJ
Department of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction Prisoners are considered to be at high risk for Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) virus infections. This is attributed to intravenous drug use and high-risk sexual behaviour. There are no published studies on HBV and HCV among prison inmates or injecting drug users in Sri Lanka.

Objectives To determine prevalence of HBV and HCV infections, and their relationship to injectable drug use among Sri Lankan prisoners.

Methods We investigated 393 (median age 42 years (range 16 to 93); 82% males) randomly selected inmates of Mahara and Welikada prisons.

Results Though 167 (42.5%) admitted drug abuse, only 17 (4.3%) had ever used intravenous drugs. Twelve (70.6%) of them reported sharing needles. One inmate was positive for HBsAg but was negative for HBV-DNA. Twenty seven (6.9%) were positive for anti-HCV antibodies, of whom only 2 (0.5%) were positive for HCV-RNA. None of the injecting drug users were positive for HBV-DNA or HCV-RNA.

Conclusions The prevalence of HBV and HCV infections as well as injecting drug use was very low among this cohort of Sri Lankan prison inmates. 

Ceylon Medical Journal 2015; 60: 18-20

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v60i1.7288
How to Cite: Niriella, M. et al., (2015). Prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections and their relationship to injectable drug use in a cohort of Sri Lankan prison inmates. Ceylon Medical Journal. 60(1), pp.18–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v60i1.7288
Published on 17 Mar 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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