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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


Prevalence and incidence of bloodborne viral infections among Danish prisoners.
Prevalence and incidence of bloodborne viral infections among Danish prisoners.

Eur J Epidemiol 2000;16(11):1043-9Related Articles, Links
Christensen PB, Krarup HB, Niesters HG, Norder H, Georgsen J.

Department of Clinical Immunology, Odense University Hospital, Aalborg
Hospital, Denmark.

In order to determine the prevalence and incidence of bloodborne viral
infections among prisoners, we conducted a prospective study in a Danish
medium security prison for males. The prisoners were offered an interview
and blood test for hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus HIV at
inclusion as well as at release from prison or end of study. Of 403
prisoners available 325 (79%) participated in the initial survey and for
142 (44%) a follow-up test was available. 43% (140/325) of the participants
were injecting drug users (IDUs) of whom 64% were positive for hepatitis B
(HBV) and 87% for hepatitis C (Hepatitis C Virus) markers. No cases of HIV or human T
lymphotropic virus (HTLV) were found. 32% of all prisoners could transmit
HBV and/or Hepatitis C Virus by blood contact. 70% of IDUs had shared injecting
equipment, and 60% had injected inside prison. Only 2% of IDUs were
vaccinated against HBV. Duration of injecting drug use, numbers of
imprisonments, and injecting in prison were independently and positively
associated with the presence of HBV antibodies among IDUs by logistic
regression analysis. The HBV incidence was 16/100 PY (95% CI: 2-56/100 PY)
and the Hepatitis C Virus incidence 25/100 PY (1-140) among injecting drug users (IDUs).
We conclude that IDUs in prison have an incidence of hepatitis B and C 100
times higher than reported in the general Danish population. They should be
vaccinated against hepatitis B and new initiatives to stop sharing of
injecting equipment in and outside prison is urgently needed.

PMID: 11421474 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]