Prevalence and incidence of hepatitis C virus infection among Aboriginal youth
Posted Dec 16 2009 11:43am
This week in Open Medicine - December 16, 2009
NEW RESEARCH: Prevalence and incidence of hepatitis C virus infection among Aboriginal young people who use drugs: results from the Cedar Project
Little is known about the extent of the hepatitis C (HCV) epidemic among Aboriginal people in North America. However, some research suggests that prevalence of HCV infection among Aboriginal people, as well as the number of new cases, is significantly higher than among non-Aboriginal people.
This study sought to estimate the prevalence and incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Aboriginal youth who use drugs and to identify risk factors associated with HCV infection in this specific population.
Five hundred and twelve Aboriginal youth (ages 14 to 30) from Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia, participated in the study. The results of this study inidcate the prevalence of HCV infection in this population is 34.8 per cent (59.4 percent among injection drug users). The authors conclude that culturally based prevention, treatment and harm-reduction programs are urgently needed to address this serious public health problem.