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Twenty-Year Study Finds Minimal Decline in Hepatitis C among Injection Drug Abusers

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Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and other centers, led by Shruti H. Mehta, PhD, MPH, have a minimal drop in Hepatitis C among IDU’s (Injection Drug Users) over the past twenty years.

The Study

The twenty-year study found that the rate of HIV has decreased among IDU’s but that Hepatitis C (Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to swelling (inflammation) of the liver.) In the case of injection, drug abusers the viral infection is spread through shared or dirty needles. Hepatitis C is ten times more likely to spread by “used” needles than HIV (human immunodeficiency virus.) In the majority of cases that saw, a decline in Hepatitis C was found in the IDU’s who had recently started injecting drugs. With the Hepatitis vaccine in the young users, systems they may be more protected than older users. Although, the vaccine is not a guarantee that users who have been vaccinated with not develop Hepatitis C anyway.


Researchers have been working on vaccine for those who have contracted Hepatitis C but that could still be a long ways off.