Co-infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis C Virus among Injecting Drug Users in North-Eastern States of India

Background: Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant problem, especially among injection drug users (IDUs). Coinfection with HIV and HCV is a significant global public health problem. The study aims to examine co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Northeastern states of India.
Materials & method:
Data were obtained from a crosssectional bio-behavioural survey Integrated behavioural and biological assessment round 2 (2009-2010) among 1650 IDUs in two north-eastern states, Manipur and Nagaland of India. Univariate with Chi-square test and Binary logistic regression were used for analysis. Results: Co-infection with HIV and HCV was found 15.0% of IDUs in the North-East state of India. The HCV prevalence was 93% among HIV positive IDUs and 34.4% among HIVnegative IDUs respectively. The prevalence of HIV in HCV positive and in HCV negative was 34.3% and 1.7%, respectively. Univariate analysis with Chi-Square test found that age, education, marital status, living status, age at first starting drug use, age at first injecting drug use, duration of first drug use and first injecting drug, shared needle/ syringes with partner, injection with prefilled syringe, draw up drug solutions from a common container, cleaning of needle/syringes and being sexually active were significantly associated with coinfection with HIV and HCV. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that divorced/separated/ widowed (2.8 times, p ≤ 0.001), age at starting drug use 26 years and above (2.2 times, p ≤ 0.001), draw up drug solution from a common container (1.8 times, p ≤ 0.10), injection with prefilled syringes (1.3 times, p ≤ 0.002), cleaning of needle/syringes (2.9 times, p ≤ 0.05) and sexually active (0.56 times, p ≤ 0.05) were independently associated with co-infection with HIV and HCV.
Study emphasizes that there should be preventive strategies to control hepatitis C infection among IDUs.


Santosh Kumar Sharma and Shri Kant Singh

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