HCV, HIV, HBV and HDV infections in intravenous drug addicts
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Hepatitis viruses and the acquired immunodeficiency viruses often infect intravenous drug addicts (IVDAs). Our study includes 255 IVDAs (26 females and 229 males, aged 20–35 years) from Cagliari. Of 255 subjects examined, 207 (81.1%) were positive for anti-HCV and 84 (32.9%) for anti-HIV. Nineteen (7.4%) subjects were HBsAg carriers, and 12 of these (63%) had an HDV super-infection. Markers of previous HBV infections were tested in 223 cases and 137 (61.4%) were found positive; of these 14 (10.2%) also had HDV infection. Of the 223 drug addicts examined for all infection markers, 18 (8%) were negative to all markers, 46 (20.6%) were positive to only one, 89(39.9%) were positive to two, 64 (28.7%) to three and 6 (2.6%) were positive to all. Subjects with a single infection were significantly fewer than those with multiple infections. The correlations studied among the various markers did not point out any statistically significant associations. Even so, a previous HBV infection was more common while active HBV/HDV infections were less common among subjects with anti-HCV; HDV infection was more common among HIV-positive subjects. In HBsAg carriers neither HBV-DNA nor HCV-RNA was detected; HCV-RNA was found more frequently in anti-HIV positive subjects than in subjects with the anti-HCV isolate.
Key wordsDrug addicts HBV HCV HDV HIV
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