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Potential for hepatitis C transmission among non-needle/syringe sharing Sheffield drug injectors through the sharing of drug preparation paraphernalia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthias Schmid


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This study aimed to investigate possible means by which hepatitis C virus (HCV) might be transmitted between drug injecting individuals without the sharing of needles and syringes. A questionnaire-based survey of 143 (out of 287) attendees was conducted at an Infectious Diseases Unit-based HCV clinic. Those patients (all of whom were positive for antibodies to HCV) who asked about risk activities and those that admitted to a history of recreational drug injecting were questioned in detail about their past and current drug preparation practices. Ten per cent denied any history of needle and/or syringe sharing and had no other apparent source of their HCV infection, but instead admitted to having shared drug preparation eqiupment. The existence among drug injectors of such practices with the potential to transmit blood borne viruses is important as it may explain how HCV, which is capable of being spread via very small quantities of blood, can be passed between drug injecting individuals who might otherwise never come into contact with another drug injector's blood. Clinical and public health messages regarding the prevention of the spread of HCV may need to be revised and strengthened.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schmid ML; Green ST; Mohsen AH; McKendrick MW; Dawes Y; Prakasam SF; Walberg R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Communicable Disease and Public Health

Year: 2001

Volume: 4

Issue: 1

Pages: 38-41

ISSN (print): 1462-1843

Publisher: Health Protection Agency

PubMed id: 11467017