Hepatitis C virus infection in South Australian prisoners : seroprevalence, seroconversion, and risk factors

Miller, Emma, Bi, Peng and Ryan, Philip 2009, Hepatitis C virus infection in South Australian prisoners : seroprevalence, seroconversion, and risk factors, International journal of infectious diseases, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 201-208, doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2008.06.011.

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Title Hepatitis C virus infection in South Australian prisoners : seroprevalence, seroconversion, and risk factors
Author(s) Miller, Emma
Bi, Peng
Ryan, Philip
Journal name International journal of infectious diseases
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 201
End page 208
Publisher Elsevier Ltd.
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2009-03
ISSN 1201-9712
Keyword(s) hepatitis C
risk factors
Summary Objectives : To determine entry antibody seroprevalence and seroconversion to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and associated risk factors in newly incarcerated prisoners.

Methods : Males and females entering South Australian prisons completed risk factor surveys and were offered HCV-antibody testing. Participants completed additional surveys and, if HCV-negative at last test, underwent further antibody tests at 3-monthly intervals for up to 15 months. Data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate techniques.

Results : HCV seroprevalence among 662 prison entrants was estimated at 42%. Previous injecting history was highly prevalent at entry (64%) and both community and prison injecting independently predicted entry HCV status. Tattooing was not an important risk factor. While community exposure could not be ruled out, three seroconversions were noted in 148 initially HCV-seronegative individuals occurring in a median 121 days – 4.6 per 100 person-years. Prison injecting was infrequently reported, but HCV-seropositive participants were significantly more likely to commence IDU in prison than seronegative participants (p = 0.035).

Conclusions : Entry HCV seroprevalence in South Australian prisoners is extremely high and may have contributed to a ‘ceiling effect’, minimizing the observable seroconversion rate. Greater frequency of injecting among those already infected with HCV represents a significant threat to other prisoners and prison staff.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ijid.2008.06.011
Field of Research 111718 Residential Client Care
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2008, International Society for Infectious Diseases
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018568

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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Created: Tue, 08 Sep 2009, 15:37:20 EST by Deborah Wittahatchy

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