Prevelance of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and
HIV Infections among People Who Inject
Drugs- A Study from Tertiary Care Centre
of Kashmir Valley, India
Dr. Anjum Farhana,
Department of Microbiology, Goverment Medical College,
Srinagar-190010, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Introduction: Drug addiction one of the greatest challenges face across the glob. The parenterally transmitted viruses like Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) occur more frequently in this high-risk group of population as compared with the general population.
Aim: To find the prevalence of HBV, HCV and HIV in People Who Inject Drugs (PWIDs) attending a tertiary care hospital in Kashmir valley, India.
Materials and Methods: A prospective descriptional study was conducted from October 2017 to October 2020 in the Department of Microbiology of a tertiary care hospital in Kashmir. Subjects included 200 (PWIDs) who voluntarily presented themselves at the drug clinic. Participants were tested for HBV, HCV and HIV infections. For HBV, surface antigen was detected using Enzymelinked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), HCV was detected by HCV antibody test using ELISA and HIV was detected using combination of three rapid kits, COMBAIDS-RS ADVANTAGE ST, MERISCREEN HIV 1-2 WB and TREDRO HIV 1-2 Ab. Demographic data was collected from all the PWIDs.
Results: Among 200 PWIDs,138 (69%) were in the age group of 16-25 years and none of them was more than 35 years of age. The mean age of PWIDs was 22.9 years. Out of 200, 20 (10%) PWIDS had HCV antibodies, 7 (3.5%) were positive for HBV, and 1 (0.5%) had anti-HIV antibodies. A 73.5% of PWIDs belonged to urban Kashmir and majority of them (62.5%) were college going students.
Conclusion: From present study, authors report a high prevalence of hepatitis C and B in PWIDs of Kashmir. It is also the fact that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Targeted intervention programs should make HBV/HCV testing, prevention and care more accessible for PWIDs