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The Low Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Coinfection and Hepatitis C Virus Mono-Infection Among Methadone Toxicity Patients

Haleh Talaie, Atieh Mousavizadeh, Behjat Barari




the incidence of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
and Human Immunodeficiency Virus
(HIV) coinfection in People Who Inject
Drugs (PWIDs) is a public health issue; it
presents various contentions to the healthcare
providers. Although antiretroviral therapy improved
the life expectancy of HIV-infected people, HCV-related
mortality turned into a greater concern among these individuals
[1]. AccFurthermore, they mentioned, “injecting
drug users in the Taipei methadone maintenance
treatment program had a very high prevalence of HIV/
HBV coinfection and HCV mono-infection”[2].
Besides, a systematic review and meta-analysis results
suggested a high frequency of HIV/HBV coinfection
(>80%) in Intravenous (IV) drug users [3]. Although
the incidence of HIV among IV drug users has been
decreased, HCV is still endemic in this population [4].
We aimed to estimate HCV/HIV coinfection frequency
and its related risk factors among methadone poisoned
patients who were admitted to the Loghman Hakim poisoning
center between March 2012 and March 2017.
Loghman-Hakim Hospital is a unique poisoning referral
center in Tehran, Iran, that admits patients from all cities
in Tehran Province, Iran. Annually, around 20000 hospitalized
patients are observed and treated in this center,
with 80-100 patients daily turn-over.
The required data were collected using a questionnaire,
clinical examinations, and laboratory findings. The patients
with a history of infectious diseases, like hepatitis
B or C, HIV, and IV drug consumption, were excluded
from the present research. The obtained blood samples
were screened for antibodies to HCV and HIV using a
commercially available Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent
Assay (ELISA). Furthermore, the relevant urine samples
were analyzed for the presence of methadone with a rapid
test. Among 200 participants, 134 (67%) were male, and
66 (33%) were female with the age range of 1 to 83 years.
The methadone serum levels of 129 (64.5%) patients were
positive, 39 (19.5%) were negative, and 32 (16%) patients
were not examined due to the short duration of hospitalization
(i.e. <2 days). Underlying diseases, such as noncommunicable
diseases (11%), psychotic disorders (1.5%), and
respiratory disease (3.5%) were detected in 30 cases. Reactive
HCV-antibodies, active HIV-antibodies, and HIV/
HCV coinfection were observed in 10 (5%), 2 (1%), and 2
(1%) of the study subjects, respectively. Figure 1 shows the
prevalence of HCV and HIV infection by gender and age.


Methadone toxicity, Co-infection, HIV, HCV


Anderson KB, Guest JL, Rimland D. Hepatitis C virus coinfection increases mortality in HIV-infected patients in the highly active antiretroviral therapy era: Data from the HIV Atlanta VA Cohort Study. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2004; 39:1507-13. [DOI:10.1086/425360] [PMID]

Yen YF, Yen MY, S u LW, Li LH, Chuang P, Jiang XR, et al. Prevalences and associated risk factors of HCV/HIV coinfection and HCV mono-infection among injecting drug users in a methadone maintenance treatment program in Taipei, Taiwan. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12:1066-72. [DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1066] [PMID] [PMCID]

Platt L, Easterbrook P, Gower E, McDonald B, Sabin K, McGowan C, et al. Prevalence and burden of HCV coinfection in people living with HIV: A global systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 2016; 16(7):797-808. [DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(15)00485-5]

Talaie H, Shadnia S, Okazi A, Pajouhmand A, Hasanian H, Arianpoor H. The prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infections in non-IV drug opioid poisoned patients in Tehran-Iran. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. 2007;10(2):220-4. [DOI:10.3923/pjbs.2007.220.224] [PMID]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32598/ijmtfm.v10i1.28457