Investigation of Relative Risk Factors of Hepatitis B Virus Core Antibody Positivity among Intravenous Drug Users in Tehran, 2013
Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) still continues to infect many people worldwide despite the availability of an effective vaccine for more than three decades. The high prevalence of HBV may exist in high risk groups, particularly among intravenous drug users (IDUs). This group is among groups with a higher risk of infection due to their hazardous behaviors such as sharing needles for drug injection. This cross sectional study included 229 intravenous drug users in Tehran, in 2013 to investigate the prevalence of HBc Ab positivity and its associated risk factors among IDUs.
Materials and Methods: Socio-demographic characteristics and associated risk factors were recorded during sample collection. Their serum samples were tested for the presence of total hepatitis B virus core antibody (HBc Ab) by Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
Results: HBc Ab was detected in 64 of 229 participants, giving an overall prevalence of 28%. History of imprisonment, injecting drugs and age has a significant correlation with HBc Ab positivity.
Conclusion: Expansion of new preventive strategies through the national health system could be beneficial for decreasing the risk of acquiring HBV among high risk groups such as IDUs.
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