HCV and HIV Infection among Heroin Abusers in a Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program
Health (Irvine, Calif.)
Over the years, it was getting attention to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among injected drug users (IDUs) in Taiwan. This study investigated the frequency of risky behaviors for HCV carriers and IDUs who were HIV carriers in methadone maintenance treatment program. The subjects, intravenously injected heroin abusers, were collected from a special methadone maintenance treatment clinic. The survey included characteristics of participants, sexual
... ants, sexual activity and attitude towards condom usage. The total number of subjects was 151. Data were analyzed using the statistical package SPSS 15.0. The analytical methods included descriptive analysis, Fisher's exact test, and the logistic regression model. The study showed that 82% of intravenously injected heroin abusers were hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive, and 44.4% were hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive; 89.5% of HIV-positive heroin abusers were type C hepatitis positive. Only 21.2% of these intravenously injected heroin abusers always used a condom, and 39.7% never used a condom during sexual activity. Logistic regression analysis showed smoking, sharing syringes needles, HBV status and condom use status were four main risk factors on HIV infection. Sharing or using contaminated syringes needles was the main cause of HIV, HBV, and HCV infection in the drug addiction group. Since our government has the policy of providing a methadone maintenance treatment program, the spread of HIV is under control, but knowledge about HIV and safe sex education still needs improvement.