Publications by authors named "Vivian D Hope"

34 Publications

A narrative systematic review of sexualised drug use and sexual health outcomes among LGBT people.

Int J Drug Policy 2021 07 24;93:103187. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Exchange Station, Liverpool, L2 2QP, UK.

Introduction: Chemsex is a specific form of sexualised drug use (SDU) that is an emerging public health issue among men who have sex with men (MSM). Although the recent focus on chemsex is a reflection of the associated harms it is important to understand SDU more broadly and its associations with risk behaviours. Additionally, some of the reasons suggested for MSM engagement in SDU are also likely to apply to women who have sex with women (WSW) and trans people. The aim of this review was to investigate SDU, including chemsex, among lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people internationally in relation to sexual health outcomes (HIV status, STI diagnosis, condom use).

Methods: Papers that were published between January 2010 and June 2020 reporting SDU in MSM, WSW, or trans people were identified through Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus and Web of Science. Results were synthesised using a narrative approach.

Results: The search identified 2,710 publications, of which 75 were included in the final synthesis. The majority of studies measured SDU among MSM (n = 71), and four studies measured SDU among trans people. Research into SDU had been conducted in 55 countries and 32 countries had recorded the use of a chemsex drug among MSM, although the drugs used to define chemsex varied. Among studies that researched MSM, SDU was most commonly investigated in relation to condomless anal intercourse (n = 42), followed by HIV prevalence (n = 35), and then STI diagnoses (n = 27). Drug use was generally associated with sexual health outcomes, but particularly in chemsex studies.

Conclusions: SDU research is lacking among WSW and trans people, despite trans women having a high HIV prevalence. Among MSM, most drugs were associated with sexual health outcomes, and therefore it is important to include both chemsex drugs and other drugs in SDU research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103187DOI Listing
July 2021

Service provision and barriers to care for men who have sex with men engaging in chemsex and sexualised drug use in England.

Int J Drug Policy 2021 06 26;92:103090. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Exchange Station, Liverpool, L2 2QP, UK.

Background: Chemsex and sexualised drug use (SDU) among men who have sex with men (MSM) has become a public health issue because of its associated sexual risks. Some MSM engaging in SDU require further help and support, but it is not clear if this need is being met. This research seeks to understand MSM and service provider (SP) perspectives of the current standard of service provision for MSM engaging in SDU.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 MSM and 16 SPs in England (January-December 2019). MSM who reported taking one of ten substances for sex in the past 12 months were recruited from a mailing list or a community organisation providing chemsex support. Potential SP participants were recruited via an email sent from their local healthcare NHS Trust. Data for MSM and SPs were analysed separately using thematic analysis.

Results: MSM participants had a median age of 34 years (range 23-66).The majority of SPs recruited were genitourinary medicine (GUM) consultants. We found that the main reason for engagement in SDU was because of the enhanced sexual experience. Most MSM recruited were satisfied with their sexual health service provision, but barriers to care were highlighted by both MSM and SPs. Four themes relating to barriers to care were identified: accessibility of sexual health services, funding of services, SP's attitudes towards MSM who engage in SDU, and services outside sexual healthcare.

Conclusion: SPs appeared to have adopted a harm reduction approach to MSM engaging in SDU, but for MSM wanting further help and assistance in relation to their SDU additional barriers to care existed. Training healthcare providers outside of sexual health services regarding chemsex and SDU may reduce some of these barriers, but funding for sexual health services needs to be improved to maintain and further develop services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.103090DOI Listing
June 2021

Factors associated with hepatitis C and HIV testing uptake among men who inject image and performance enhancing drugs.

Drug Alcohol Rev 2021 May 8;40(4):586-596. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

Substance Misuse Programme, Public Health Wales, Cardiff, UK.

Introduction And Aims: Historically, people who inject image and performance enhancing drugs (IPED) were not perceived as being at high risk of HIV or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. However, recent studies indicate HCV and HIV prevalences are elevated, with many HCV infections undiagnosed.

Design And Methods: Men who inject IPEDs recruited from community settings and specialist services, including needle-syringe programs, across UK during 2016 self-completed a questionnaire. Multivariate analyses examined factors associated with HCV/HIV testing.

Results: The participants' (n=562; 24% service recruited) median age was 31 years, 4% identified as gay or bisexual, 18% had ever been imprisoned and 6% had ever injected a psychoactive drug. Those community recruited more often reported sharing drugs vials (16% vs. 8%, P=0.021) and, among those with 2+ sexual partners, poor condom use (50% vs. 36%, P=0.063), than those service recruited. Overall, one-third had ever been tested for HCV (31%) and/or HIV (34%). Testing uptake was associated with other risk factors for HCV/HIV, being recruited through services and having received metabolic tests. Participants' motivations for using IPEDs were associated with recruitment setting and HIV/HCV testing uptake.

Discussion And Conclusions: The majority were untested for HCV/HIV. HCV/HIV testing and risks were associated with recruitment through services. Previous needle and syringe program-based studies have potentially overestimated testing uptake and underestimated risk. Targeted interventions are needed, particularly for those not accessing services. The association between HCV/HIV testing uptake and receipt of metabolic tests suggests that developing a combined offer of these tests as part of health monitoring could improve uptake.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.13198DOI Listing
May 2021

Image and performance enhancing drug use among men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women in the UK.

Int J Drug Policy 2020 Sep 7:102933. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Exchange Station, Liverpool, L2 2QP, United Kingdom.

Background: The use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) among men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with women (WSW) is rarely studied, with most of this research focused on anabolic androgenic steroid use among MSM. To address this gap, the extent of recent IPED use and the associated factors are explored in a community-recruited sample of MSM and WSW METHODS: Data from the UK LGBT Sex and Lifestyles Survey was used, which recruited through social-media advertising and community organisations (April-June 2018). Participants were asked if they had taken any IPEDs (e.g. anabolic steroids, growth hormone, hCG, Melanotan, non-prescribed diet pills) in the past 12 months. Factors associated with recent (in past 12 months) IPED use among MSM and WSW were investigated using stepwise binary logistic regression.

Results: 1,658 MSM and 1,507 WSW were included in the analysis. Among MSM, 3.4% (n = 57) had recently taken IPEDs, 60% of those taking IPEDs had used psychoactive drugs. In the multivariable analysis, IPED use among MSM was associated with psychoactive drug use, Viagra use, higher body dissatisfaction, and lower sexual satisfaction. Among WSW, 4.1% (n = 62) had recently taken IPEDs, and 50% of those taking IPEDs had used psychoactive drugs. In the multivariable analysis, IPED use among WSW was associated with being aged 45 years and over, recent STI diagnosis, recent sexual contact without consent, and higher body dissatisfaction.

Conclusion: IPED use was reported by around 1-in-25 MSM and WSW, and was associated with a number of health and psychological problems. Research to better understand the drivers and impacts of IPED use among MSM and WSW, and how this compares to use among heterosexual people is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102933DOI Listing
September 2020

Factors associated with skin and soft tissue infections among people who inject drugs in the United Kingdom: A comparative examination of data from two surveys.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2020 Jun 3;213:108080. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, United Kingdom.

Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) are at high risk of injection-related skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). If not treated promptly, these can lead to serious health complications, which are a considerable healthcare burden. Data from two community surveys, with different approaches, were used to assess SSTI prevalence and associated factors among PWID to inform intervention implementation.

Methods: Data were analysed from two surveys, a national surveillance survey (n=2,874; 2017-18) of infections among PWID in the United Kingdom (UK) and an in-depth survey (n=455; 2018-19) of SSTI among PWID based in London, UK. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to ascertain the factors associated with self-reported SSTI.

Results: High prevalence of SSTI were reported in both samples: 52 % of participants from the national surveillance survey reported having SSTI within the preceding 12 months and 65 % of the London sample reported a lifetime history of SSTI. The factors associated with SSTI in both surveys were similar, including older age; number of years injecting; number of attempts required to inject into the vein; injecting into the hands, feet, groin or neck and re-using or sharing needles/syringes.

Conclusions: The number of PWID reporting SSTI in the UK is concerningly high. The two surveys used different recruitment approaches but found similar associations. We provide strong evidence of a relationship between venous access difficulty and SSTI. To stem the increase of SSTI and related complications in the UK, it is crucial that interventions attend to the underlying causes of venous damage among PWID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108080DOI Listing
June 2020

Incidence and treatment costs of severe bacterial infections among people who inject heroin: A cohort study in South London, England.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2020 07 6;212:108057. Epub 2020 May 6.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Camberwell, London SE5 8AF, UK; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Monks Orchard Road Beckenham, London BR3 3BX, UK; Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Global and Population Health, Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street, The University of Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia; RAND Europe, Westbrook Centre, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 1YG, UK.

Background: People who inject drugs often get bacterial infections. Few longitudinal studies have reported the incidence and treatment costs of these infections.

Methods: For a cohort of 2335 people who inject heroin entering treatment for drug dependence between 2006 and 2017 in London, England, we reported the rates of hospitalisation or death with primary causes of cutaneous abscess, cellulitis, phlebitis, septicaemia, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, endocarditis, or necrotising fasciitis. We compared these rates to the general population. We also used NHS reference costs to calculate the cost of admissions.

Results: During a median of 8.0 years of follow-up, 24 % of patients (570/2335) had a severe bacterial infection, most commonly presenting with cutaneous abscesses or cellulitis. Bacterial infections accounted for 13 % of all hospital admissions. The rate was 73 per 1000 person-years (95 % CI 69-77); 50 times the general population, and the rate remained high throughout follow-up. The rate of severe bacterial infections for women was 1.50 (95 % CI 1.32-1.69) times the rate for men. The mean cost per admission was £4980, and we estimate that the annual cost of hospital treatment for people who inject heroin in London is £4.5 million.

Conclusions: People who inject heroin have extreme and long-term risk of severe bacterial infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7301433PMC
July 2020

Sexually transmitted infection diagnoses, sexualised drug use and associations with pre-exposure prophylaxis use among men who have sex with men in the UK.

Int J STD AIDS 2020 03 9;31(3):254-263. Epub 2020 Feb 9.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956462419897222DOI Listing
March 2020

Frequency of health-care utilization by adults who use illicit drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Addiction 2020 06 10;115(6):1011-1023. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

National Addictions Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Aims: To summarize evidence on the frequency and predictors of health-care utilization among people who use illicit drugs.

Design: Systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsychINFO for observational studies reporting health-care utilization published between 1 January 2000 and 3 December 2018. We conducted narrative synthesis and meta-analysis following a registered protocol (identifier: CRD42017076525).

Setting And Participants: People who use heroin, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, ecstasy/3,4-methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), cannabis, hallucinogens or novel psychoactive substances; have a diagnosis of 'substance use disorder'; or use drug treatment services.

Measurements: Primary outcomes were the cumulative incidence (risk) and rate of care episodes in three settings: primary care, hospital admissions (in-patient) and emergency department (ED).

Findings: Ninety-two studies were included, 84% from North America and Australia. Most studies focused on people using heroin, methamphetamine or crack cocaine, or who had a diagnosis of drug dependence. We were able to conduct a meta-analysis of rates across 25 studies reporting ED episodes and 25 reporting hospital admissions, finding pooled rates of 151 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 114-201] and 41 (95% CI = 30-57) per 100 person-years, respectively; on average 4.8 and 7.1 times more often than the general population. Heterogeneity was very high and was not explained by drugs used, country of study, recruitment setting or demographic characteristics. Predictors of health-care utilization were consistent across studies and included unstable housing, drug injection and mental health problems. Opioid substitution therapy was consistently associated with reduced ED presentation and hospital admission. There was minimal research on health-care utilization by people using ecstasy/MDMA, powder cocaine, hallucinogens or novel psychoactive substances.

Conclusions: People who use illicit drugs are admitted to emergency department or hospital several times more often than the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.14892DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7210080PMC
June 2020

Psychosocial and sexual factors associated with recent sexual health clinic attendance and HIV testing among trans people in the UK.

BMJ Sex Reprod Health 2020 Apr 30;46(2):116-125. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.

Objectives: Trans people remain an understudied population in the UK, with unmet sexual health needs. The aim of this research was to identify possible barriers and facilitators for sexual health clinic attendance and HIV testing among trans people.

Methods: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participants from across the UK were invited to take part in a cross-sectional online survey through Facebook advertising (April-June 2018). Psychosocial and sexual factors associated with recent sexual health clinic attendance, and ever having an HIV test were examined using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: A total of 3007 cisgender and 500 trans participants completed the survey. Trans participants were less likely to attend a sexual health clinic than cisgender participants (27% vs 36%, p<0.001) and report ever having an HIV test (49% vs 64%, p<0.001). One trans participant reported living with HIV and three reported currently taking pre-exposure prophylaxis. Factors associated with trans sexual health clinic attendance were: living in London, having a relationship with multiple partners, engaging in condomless anal intercourse, greater life satisfaction, and having alcohol and/or drugs before sex. Being a person of colour, aged 25-49 years, in a relationship with multiple partners, condomless anal intercourse, lower body dissatisfaction, and having drugs before sex were associated with ever having an HIV test among trans participants.

Conclusions: Trans people were less likely to attend sexual health services than cisgender people, and half of trans participants who reported condomless anal intercourse had never had an HIV test. Further research is needed to understand and improve uptake of sexual health services among trans people.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjsrh-2019-200375DOI Listing
April 2020

Associations with drug use and sexualised drug use among women who have sex with women (WSW) in the UK: Findings from the LGBT Sex and Lifestyles Survey.

Int J Drug Policy 2019 12 26;74:292-298. Epub 2019 Jul 26.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Exchange Station, Liverpool, L2 2QP, UK.

Introduction: Studies indicate that women who have sex with women (WSW) report greater levels of drug use than heterosexual women, but globally few studies have looked at sexualised drug use among WSW. This study investigated the factors associated with drug use and sexualised drug use (SDU) among WSW.

Methods: Potential participants across the UK were invited to take part in a cross-sectional anonymous online survey between April-June 2018. The LGBT Sex and Lifestyles Survey recruited participants through Facebook advertising and social media posts from community organisations. Multivariate logistic regression was used to compare WSW who had engaged in any drug use in the past 12 months with those who had not, and those who engaged in sexualised drug use in the past 12 months with those who engaged in other drug use.

Results: 1501 WSW could be included in the analyses (mean age = 28.9, 97% white ethnicity). Any drug use was reported by 39% of WSW (n = 583), 44% of which (17% of total, n = 258) reported SDU. Factors associated with drug use were identifying as queer (aOR = 1.86, 95%CI 1.08, 3.23), younger age (aOR = 0.96, 95%CI 0.95, 0.98), being born outside the UK (aOR = 1.75, 95%CI 1.15, 2.66), recent sexual assault (aOR = 2.35, 95%CI 1.43, 3.86), > = 5 female sexual partners (aOR = 3.81, 95%CI 1.81, 8.01), and psychological distress (aOR = 1.75, 95%CI 1.15, 2.67). SDU was associated with identifying as bisexual (aOR = 2.55, 95%CI 1.69, 3.86), > = 5 female sexual partners (aOR = 4.50, 95%CI 1.91, 10.59), and highest education achieved at 16 or lower (aOR = 2.46, 95%CI 1.24, 4.90).

Conclusions: Some WSW may have negative experiences in relation to drug use and SDU. Harm reduction and health services that provide services for WSW should be aware of potentially compounding factors related to drug use, such as sexual assault and psychological distress, providing a safe and LGBT-friendly environment to discuss these issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.07.034DOI Listing
December 2019

Psychosocial and sexual characteristics associated with sexualised drug use and chemsex among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK.

Sex Transm Infect 2019 08 12;95(5):342-350. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.

Objective: To understand how the emerging public health issue of chemsex relates to broader patterns of sexualised drug use (SDU) among men who have sex with men (MSM), which has been understudied.

Methods: Potential participants were invited to take part in an anonymous, cross-sectional online survey through Facebook advertising and community organisations' social media posts (April-June 2018). Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare MSM who engaged in recent SDU (past 12 months) with those who did not, and those who engaged in chemsex (γ-hydroxybutyrate/γ-butyrolactone, crystal methamphetamine, mephedrone, ketamine) with those who engaged in other SDU (eg, poppers, cocaine, cannabis).

Results: Of the 1648 MSM included, 41% reported recent SDU; 15% of these (6% of total, n=99) reported chemsex. Factors associated with SDU were recent STI diagnosis (aOR=2.44, 95% CI 1.58 to 3.76), sexual health clinic attendance (aOR=2.46, 95% CI 1.90 to 3.20), image and performance-enhancing drug use (aOR=3.82, 95% CI 1.87 to 7.82), greater number of condomless anal male partners, lower satisfaction with life and greater sexual satisfaction. Predictors of chemsex compared with other SDU were not being UK-born (aOR=2.02, 95% CI 1.05 to 3.86), living in a densely populated area (aOR=2.69, 95% CI 1.26 to 5.74), low sexual self-efficacy (aOR=4.52, 95% CI 2.18 to 9.40) and greater number of condomless anal male partners. Living with HIV, taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and experiencing or being unsure of experiencing sexual contact without consent were significantly associated with SDU and chemsex in bivariate analyses but not in the multivariable.

Conclusion: Health and behavioural differences were observed between MSM engaging in chemsex, those engaging in SDU and those engaging in neither. While some MSM engaging in chemsex and SDU appeared content with these behaviours, the association with life satisfaction and sexual self-efficacy indicates psychosocial support is needed for some. The association with sexual risk and sexual consent also indicates the importance of promoting harm reduction among this population (eg, condoms, PrEP, drug knowledge).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2018-053933DOI Listing
August 2019

Secondary distribution of injecting equipment obtained from needle and syringe programmes by people injecting image and performance enhancing drugs: England and Wales, 2012-15.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2019 02 14;195:40-44. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, UK.

Background: People who inject image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) are often the largest group using needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) in the UK. NSP providers report these clients repeatedly collecting large amounts of equipment for others. The extent of secondary distribution of injecting equipment is unknown.

Methods: Data from national surveillance of people injecting IPEDs were used. Participants completed a questionnaire and provided a dried-blood spot sample. Data from two biennial surveys was combined; repeat participants were excluded. Self-reported data was used to explore the extent of secondary distribution.

Results: Of the participants, 87% (467) reported NSP use; median age was 31 years; 98% were male. A third (34%, 157) reported collecting equipment for others. Of those collecting for others, 154 reported how many people they had collected for: 55% had collected for one person, 27% for 2-9 people, 5% for 10-19 and 13% for 20 or more (no difference by psychoactive drug use). Those vaccinated for hepatitis B were more likely (22% [15/68] vs 6% [5/86], p = 0.003), and those reporting redness/swelling at an injection site were less likely to collect equipment for at least 20 others (8% [8/106] vs 25% [12/48], p = 0.003). Overall, 154 people collected equipment for 639-1569 people injecting IPEDs.

Conclusions: Secondary distribution of injecting equipment is common among those injecting IPEDs and using NSPs. Whilst not allowing for rotational collection within groups, our analysis suggests that many of those injecting IPEDs are not in direct contact with NSPs. Innovation approaches for harm reduction interventions are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.11.021DOI Listing
February 2019

A comparison of two biological markers of recent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection: implications for the monitoring of interventions and strategies to reduce HCV transmission among people who inject drugs.

Euro Surveill 2018 11;23(47)

Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

BackgroundMonitoring hepatitis C virus (HCV) incidence is important for assessing intervention impact. Longitudinal studies of people who inject drugs (PWID), using repeated biological tests, are costly; alternatively, incidence can be estimated using biological markers of recent infection in cross-sectional studies.AimWe aimed to compare incidence estimates obtained from two different biological markers of recent infection in a cross-sectional study to inform monitoring approaches for HCV elimination strategies.MethodSamples from an unlinked anonymous bio-behavioural survey of PWID were tested for two recent infection markers: HCV RNA with anti-HCV negative ('RNA') and low-avidity anti-HCV with HCV RNA present ('avidity'). These two markers were used separately and in combination to estimate HCV incidence.ResultsBetween 2011 and 2013, 2,816 anti-HIV-negative PWID (25% female) who had injected during the preceding year were either HCV-negative or had one of the two markers of recent infection: 57 (2.0%) had the RNA marker and 90 (3.2%) the avidity marker. The two markers had similar distributions of risk and demographic factors. Pooled estimated incidence was 12.3 per 100 person-years (pyrs) (95% credible interval: 8.8-17.0) and not significantly different to avidity-only (p = 0.865) and RNA-only (p = 0.691) estimates. However, the RNA marker is limited by its short duration before anti-HCV seroconversion and the avidity marker by uncertainty around its duration.ConclusionBoth markers have utility in monitoring HCV incidence among PWID. When HCV transmission is high, one marker may provide an accurate estimate of incidence; when it is low or decreasing, a combination may be required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.47.1700635DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341939PMC
November 2018

Incarceration history and risk of HIV and hepatitis C virus acquisition among people who inject drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lancet Infect Dis 2018 12 29;18(12):1397-1409. Epub 2018 Oct 29.

International Charitable Foundation Alliance for Public Health, Kiev, Ukraine.

Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) experience a high prevalence of incarceration and might be at high risk of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection during or after incarceration. We aimed to assess whether incarceration history elevates HIV or HCV acquisition risk among PWID.

Methods: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO databases for studies in any language published from Jan 1, 2000 until June 13, 2017 assessing HIV or HCV incidence among PWID. We included studies that measured HIV or HCV incidence among community-recruited PWID. We included only studies reporting original results and excluded studies that evaluated incident infections by self-report. We contacted authors of cohort studies that met the inclusion or exclusion criteria, but that did not report on the outcomes of interest, to request data. We extracted and pooled data from the included studies using random-effects meta-analyses to quantify the associations between recent (past 3, 6, or 12 months or since last follow-up) or past incarceration and HIV or HCV acquisition (primary infection or reinfection) risk among PWID. We assessed the risk of bias of included studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Between-study heterogeneity was evaluated using the I statistic and the P-value for heterogeneity.

Findings: We included published results from 20 studies and unpublished results from 21 studies. These studies originated from Australasia, western and eastern Europe, North and Latin America, and east and southeast Asia. Recent incarceration was associated with an 81% (relative risk [RR] 1·81, 95% CI 1·40-2·34) increase in HIV acquisition risk, with moderate heterogeneity between studies (I=63·5%; p=0·001), and a 62% (RR 1·62, 95% CI 1·28-2·05) increase in HCV acquisition risk, also with moderate heterogeneity between studies (I=57·3%; p=0·002). Past incarceration was associated with a 25% increase in HIV (RR 1·25, 95% CI 0·94-1·65) and a 21% increase in HCV (1·21, 1·02-1·43) acquisition risk.

Interpretation: Incarceration is associated with substantial short-term increases in HIV and HCV acquisition risk among PWID and could be a significant driver of HCV and HIV transmission among PWID. These findings support the need for developing novel interventions to minimise the risk of HCV and HIV acquisition, including addressing structural risks associated with drug laws and excessive incarceration of PWID.

Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, National Institutes of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30469-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6280039PMC
December 2018

Impact of current and scaled-up levels of hepatitis C prevention and treatment interventions for people who inject drugs in three UK settings-what is required to achieve the WHO's HCV elimination targets?

Addiction 2018 May 17. Epub 2018 May 17.

Bristol Medical School, Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Aims: To estimate the impact of existing high-coverage needle and syringe provision (HCNSP, defined as obtaining more than one sterile needle and syringe per injection reported) and opioid substitution therapy (OST) on hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID) in three UK settings and to determine required scale-up of interventions, including HCV treatment, needed to reach the World Health Organization (WHO) target of reducing HCV incidence by 90% by 2030.

Design: HCV transmission modelling using UK empirical estimates for effect of OST and/or HCNSP on individual risk of HCV acquisition.

Setting And Participants: Three UK cities with varying chronic HCV prevalence (Bristol 45%, Dundee 26%, Walsall 19%), OST (72-81%) and HCNSP coverage (28-56%).

Measurements: Relative change in new HCV infections throughout 2016-30 if current interventions were stopped. Scale-up of HCNSP, OST and HCV treatment required to achieve the WHO elimination target.

Findings: Removing HCNSP or OST would increase the number of new HCV infections throughout 2016 to 2030 by 23-64 and 92-483%, respectively. Conversely, scaling-up these interventions to 80% coverage could achieve a 29 or 49% reduction in Bristol and Walsall, respectively, whereas Dundee may achieve a 90% decrease in incidence with current levels of intervention because of existing high levels of HCV treatment (47-58 treatments per 1000 PWID). If OST and HCNSP are scaled-up, Walsall and Bristol can achieve the same impact by treating 14 or 40 per 1000 PWID annually, respectively (currently two and nine treatments per 1000 PWID), while 18 and 43 treatments per 1000 PWID would be required if OST and HCNSP are not scaled-up.

Conclusions: Current opioid substitution therapy and high-coverage needle and syringe provision coverage is averting substantial hepatitis C transmission in the United Kingdom. Maintaining this coverage while getting current drug injectors onto treatment can reduce incidence by 90% by 2030.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.14217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6175066PMC
May 2018

Injection into the jugular vein among people who inject drugs in the United Kingdom: Prevalence, associated factors and harms.

Int J Drug Policy 2017 08 3;46:28-33. Epub 2017 Jun 3.

National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, UK.

Background: While people who inject drugs (PWID) typically use peripheral veins, some inject into their central veins, including the femoral and jugular veins. Injection into the jugular vein can have serious adverse health consequences, including jugular vein thrombosis, deep neck infections, pneumothorax, endocarditis and sepsis. This study examined the prevalence of, and factors associated with, jugular vein injection among a large sample of PWID in the United Kingdom.

Method: Unlinked anonymous surveys (2011-14) recruited PWID from agencies providing services to this population. Self-reported demographic and injection-related data were collected from consenting respondents using a brief questionnaire and dried blood spot samples were tested for exposure to HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to examine factors associated with jugular vein injection.

Results: Among 5261 PWID, one third had injected into a central vein in the previous 28 days, including 6% (n=339) who had injected into their jugular vein and 1% (n=52) who had used this site exclusively for recent injections. Factors independently associated with recent jugular vein injection in multivariable analysis included female gender, a lifetime history of imprisonment, sharing needles and syringes, poly-drug injection and injection into multiple body sites. Jugular vein injection was also associated with experiencing injection-related injuries, although no associations were identified with respect to exposure to blood borne viral infections.

Conclusion: A significant minority of PWID inject into the jugular vein in the United Kingdom. Public health responses should investigate ways to support and promote good injection site management in order to minimise vascular damage and reduce problems with peripheral venous access. Women who inject drugs, PWID with a history of imprisonment and those people who are experiencing early signs of injection-related skin and soft tissue injuries are priority sub-populations for interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.005DOI Listing
August 2017

Is the recent emergence of mephedrone injecting in the United Kingdom associated with elevated risk behaviours and blood borne virus infection?

Euro Surveill 2016 May;21(19)

Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, Public Health England, London, United Kingdom.

The recent, and rapid, emergence of injection of the short-acting stimulant mephedrone (4-methylmethcathione) has resulted in concerns about increased infection risks among people who inject drugs (PWID). Data from the bio-behavioural surveillance of PWID in the United Kingdom were analysed to examine the impact of mephedrone injection on infections among PWID. During the year preceding the survey, 8.0% of PWID (163/2,047) had injected mephedrone. In multivariable analyses, those injecting mephedrone were younger, less likely to have injected opiates, and more likely to have injected cocaine or amphetamines, used needle/syringe programmes or sexual health clinics, been recruited in Wales and Northern Ireland or shared needles/syringes. There were no differences in sexual risks. Those injecting mephedrone more often had hepatitis C antibodies (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.51; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-2.12), human immunodeficiency virus (AOR = 5.43; 95% CI: 1.90-15.5) and overdosed (AOR = 1.70; 95% CI: 1.12-2.57). There were no differences in the frequency of injecting site infections or prevalence of hepatitis B. The elevated levels of risk and infections are a concern considering its recent emergence. Mephedrone injection may currently be focused among higher-risk or more vulnerable groups. Targeted responses are needed to prevent an increase in harm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.19.30225DOI Listing
May 2016

Access to needle and syringe programs by people who inject image and performance enhancing drugs.

Int J Drug Policy 2016 05 1;31:199-200. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.01.016DOI Listing
May 2016

Harm reduction interventions should encompass people who inject image and performance enhancing drugs.

BMJ 2016 Apr 5;353:i1889. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1889DOI Listing
April 2016

An economic evaluation of contingency management for completion of hepatitis B vaccination in those on treatment for opiate dependence.

Addiction 2016 09 6;111(9):1616-27. Epub 2016 May 6.

National Addiction Centre, Addictions Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Aims: To determine whether the provision of contingency management using financial incentives to improve hepatitis B vaccine completion in people who inject drugs entering community treatment represents a cost-effective use of health-care resources.

Design: A probabilistic cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted, using a decision-tree to estimate the short-term clinical and health-care cost impact of the vaccination strategies, followed by a Markov process to evaluate the long-term clinical consequences and costs associated with hepatitis B infection.

Settings And Participants: Data on attendance to vaccination from a UK cluster randomized trial.

Intervention: Two contingency management options were examined in the trial: fixed versus escalating schedule financial incentives.

Measurement: Life-time health-care costs and quality-adjusted life years discounted at 3.5% annually; incremental cost-effectiveness ratios.

Findings: The resulting estimate for the incremental life-time health-care cost of the contingency management strategy versus usual care was £21.86 [95% confidence interval (CI) = -£12.20 to 39.86] per person offered the incentive. For 1000 people offered the incentive, the incremental reduction in numbers of hepatitis B infections avoided over their lifetime was estimated at 19 (95% CI = 8-30). The probabilistic incremental cost per quality adjusted life-year gained of the contingency management programme was estimated to be £6738 (95% CI = £6297-7172), with an 89% probability of being considered cost-effective at a threshold of £20 000 per quality-adjusted life years gained (97.60% at £30 000).

Conclusions: Using financial incentives to increase hepatitis B vaccination completion in people who inject drugs could be a cost-effective use of health-care resources in the UK as long as the incidence remains above 1.2%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.13385DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5347913PMC
September 2016

Risk of HIV and Hepatitis B and C Over Time Among Men Who Inject Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs in England and Wales: Results From Cross-Sectional Prevalence Surveys, 1992-2013.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2016 Mar;71(3):331-7

*National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, United Kingdom; †Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour, Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; ‡Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom; §Public Health Wales, Temple of Peace and Health, Cardiff, United Kingdom; and ‖MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: Infection risks among people who inject drugs (PWID) are widely recognized, but few studies have focused on image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs). Globally, concern about IPED injection has increased and, in the United Kingdom, IPED injectors have become the largest group using Needle and Syringe Programmes. Blood-borne virus prevalence trends among IPED injectors are explored.

Method: Data from 2 surveys of IPED injectors (2010-2011; 2012-2013) and the national bio-behavioral surveillance system for PWID (1992-1997; 1998-2003; 2004-2009) were merged. Psychoactive drug injectors and women were excluded. Logistic regression analyses explored temporal changes.

Results: Between 1992 and 2009, median age increased from 25 to 29 years (N = 1296), years injecting from 2 to 4. There were 53 men who had sex with men (MSM). Overall, 0.93% had HIV, 4.4% ever had hepatitis B (HBV), and 3.9% hepatitis C (HCV, from 1998, N = 1083). In multivariable analyses, HIV increased in 2004-2009 [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 10 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.94 to 106) vs. 1992-2003], and remained elevated (AOR = 4.12, 95% CI: 0.31 to 54, 2012-2013); HBV also increased in 2004-2009 (AOR = 3.98, 95% CI: 1.59 to 9.97). HCV prevalence increase was only borderline significant (AOR = 2.47, 95% CI: 0.90 to 6.77, 2010-2011). HIV and HBV were associated with MSM and HCV with sharing needles/syringes. Uptake of diagnostic testing for HIV and HCV, and HBV vaccination increased (to 43%, 32% and 44% respectively). Condom use was consistently poor; needle/syringe sharing occurred.

Conclusion: Blood-borne virus prevalences among IPED injectors have increased and for HIV, is now similar to that among psychoactive drug injectors. Targeted interventions to reduce risks are indicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000000835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4770362PMC
March 2016

Hepatitis B vaccination for people who inject drugs.

Lancet 2015 Jan;385(9963):115-6

Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, Public Health England, London NW9 5EQ, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60020-4DOI Listing
January 2015

Sex work amongst people who inject drugs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: findings from a National Survey of Health Harms and Behaviours.

Int J Drug Policy 2015 Apr 5;26(4):429-33. Epub 2014 Oct 5.

Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, Public Health England, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.09.014DOI Listing
April 2015

Hepatitis C virus infection epidemiology among people who inject drugs in Europe: a systematic review of data for scaling up treatment and prevention.

PLoS One 2014 28;9(7):e103345. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KULeuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Background: People who inject drugs (PWID) are a key population affected by hepatitis C virus (HCV). Treatment options are improving and may enhance prevention; however access for PWID may be poor. The availability in the literature of information on seven main topic areas (incidence, chronicity, genotypes, HIV co-infection, diagnosis and treatment uptake, and burden of disease) to guide HCV treatment and prevention scale-up for PWID in the 27 countries of the European Union is systematically reviewed.

Methods And Findings: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library for publications between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2012, with a search strategy of general keywords regarding viral hepatitis, substance abuse and geographic scope, as well as topic-specific keywords. Additional articles were found through structured email consultations with a large European expert network. Data availability was highly variable and important limitations existed in comparability and representativeness. Nine of 27 countries had data on HCV incidence among PWID, which was often high (2.7-66/100 person-years, median 13, Interquartile range (IQR) 8.7-28). Most common HCV genotypes were G1 and G3; however, G4 may be increasing, while the proportion of traditionally 'difficult to treat' genotypes (G1+G4) showed large variation (median 53, IQR 43-62). Twelve countries reported on HCV chronicity (median 72, IQR 64-81) and 22 on HIV prevalence in HCV-infected PWID (median 3.9%, IQR 0.2-28). Undiagnosed infection, assessed in five countries, was high (median 49%, IQR 38-64), while of those diagnosed, the proportion entering treatment was low (median 9.5%, IQR 3.5-15). Burden of disease, where assessed, was high and will rise in the next decade.

Conclusion: Key data on HCV epidemiology, care and disease burden among PWID in Europe are sparse but suggest many undiagnosed infections and poor treatment uptake. Stronger efforts are needed to improve data availability to guide an increase in HCV treatment among PWID.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103345PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113410PMC
December 2015

Prevalence of, and risk factors for, HIV, hepatitis B and C infections among men who inject image and performance enhancing drugs: a cross-sectional study.

BMJ Open 2013 Sep 12;3(9):e003207. Epub 2013 Sep 12.

Public Health England, London, UK.

Objective: To describe drug use, sexual risks and the prevalence of blood-borne viral infections among men who inject image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs).

Design: A voluntary unlinked-anonymous cross-sectional biobehavioural survey.

Setting: 19 needle and syringe programmes across England and Wales.

Participants: 395 men who had injected IPEDs.

Results: Of the participants (median age 28 years), 36% had used IPEDs for <5 years. Anabolic steroids (86%), growth hormone (32%) and human chorionic gonadotropin (16%) were most frequently injected, with 88% injecting intramuscularly and 39% subcutaneously. Two-thirds also used IPEDs orally. Recent psychoactive drug use was common (46% cocaine, 12% amphetamine), 5% had ever injected a psychoactive drug and 9% had shared injecting equipment. 'Viagra/Cialis' was used by 7%, with 89% reporting anal/vaginal sex in the preceding year (20% had 5+ female-partners, 3% male-partners) and 13% always using condoms. Overall, 1.5% had HIV, 9% had antibodies to the hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and 5% to hepatitis C (anti-HCV). In multivariate analysis, having HIV was associated with: seeking advice from a sexual health clinic; having had an injection site abscess/wound; and having male partners. After excluding those reporting male partners or injecting psychoactive drugs, 0.8% had HIV, 8% anti-HBc and 5% anti-HCV. Only 23% reported uptake of the hepatitis B vaccine, and diagnostic testing uptake was poor (31% for HIV, 22% for hepatitis C).

Conclusions: Previous prevalence studies had not found HIV among IPED injectors. HIV prevalence in this, the largest study of blood-borne viruses among IPED injectors, was similar to that among injectors of psychoactive drugs. Findings indicate a need for targeted interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3773656PMC
September 2013

Infections with spore-forming bacteria in persons who inject drugs, 2000-2009.

Emerg Infect Dis 2013 Jan;19(1):29-34

Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland.

Since 2000 in the United Kingdom, infections caused by spore-forming bacteria have been associated with increasing illness and death among persons who inject drugs (PWID). To assess temporal and geographic trends in these illnesses (botulism, tetanus, Clostridium novyi infection, and anthrax), we compared rates across England and Scotland for 2000-2009. Overall, 295 infections were reported: 1.45 per 1,000 PWID in England and 4.01 per 1,000 PWID in Scotland. The higher rate in Scotland was mainly attributable to C. novyi infection and anthrax; rates of botulism and tetanus were comparable in both countries. The temporal and geographic clustering of cases of C. novyi and anthrax into outbreaks suggests possible contamination of specific heroin batches; in contrast, the more sporadic nature of tetanus and botulism cases suggests that these spores might more commonly exist in the drug supply or local environment although at varying levels. PWID should be advised about treatment programs, injecting hygiene, risks, and vaccinations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1901.120044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3557973PMC
January 2013

Male IDUs who have sex with men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: are they at greater risk of bloodborne virus infection and harm than those who only have sex with women?

Sex Transm Infect 2012 Oct 23;88(6):456-61. Epub 2012 May 23.

HIV/STI Department, Health Protection Services Colindale, Health Protection Agency, London, UK.

Objectives: In the UK, although transmission of HIV among injecting drug user (IDUs) has been limited since the 1980s, IDUs and men who have sex with men (MSM) have higher HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalences than the general population. MSM who are also IDUs (MSM-IDUs) may therefore have a higher risk of infection than male IDUs who only have sex with women.

Methods: Analysis of data from a national survey of IDUs attending services (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) between 1998 and 2007, which collected demographic and behavioural data and oral fluid samples for HIV and HCV antibody testing.

Results: Of the 8671 men who reported injecting drugs and having sex during the preceding year, 96% (8354) were men who only had sex with women (MSW). MSM-IDUs and MSW-IDUs had similar age and number of years of injecting. MSM-IDUs had a higher prevalence of HIV (adjusted OR=4.08, 95% CI 1.9 to 8.5) and of HCV (adjusted OR =1.34, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.8) and were about four times (adjusted OR =3.78, 95% CI 2.9 to 4.9) more likely to have unprotected sex with multiple partners. Among those who injected in the 4 weeks prior to participation, the MSM-IDUs had a higher level of needle/syringe sharing (adjusted OR =1.72, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.2).

Discussion: MSM-IDUs have a fourfold higher risk of HIV; HCV prevalence in MSM-IDUs is a third higher than among MSW-IDUs, suggesting elevated risk from injecting and possibly sexual transmission. These findings emphasise the need for public health interventions specifically targeted at MSM-IDUs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2011-050450DOI Listing
October 2012

A decade of spore-forming bacterial infections among European injecting drug users: pronounced regional variation.

Am J Public Health 2012 Jan 28;102(1):122-5. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Health Protection Services, Health Protection Agency, London, UK.

The recent anthrax outbreak among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Europe has highlighted an ongoing problem with severe illness resulting from spore-forming bacteria in IDUs. We collated the numbers of cases of 4 bacterial illnesses (botulism, tetanus, Clostridium novyi, and anthrax) in European IDUs for 2000 to 2009 and calculated population rates. Six countries reported 367 cases; rates varied from 0.03 to 7.54 per million people. Most cases (92%) were reported from 3 neighboring countries: Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom. This geographic variation needs investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3490555PMC
January 2012

Hepatitis C prevalence in England remains low and varies by ethnicity: an updated evidence synthesis.

Eur J Public Health 2012 Apr 26;22(2):187-92. Epub 2011 Jun 26.

Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London, UK.

Background: Previous evidence synthesis estimates of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in England did not consider excess HCV risk in ethnic minority populations. We incorporate new information on HCV risk among non-injectors by ethnic group, and additional information on injecting prevalence in order to generate new and updated estimates of HCV prevalence risk in England for 2005.

Methods: Bayesian evidence synthesis was used to combine multiple sources of data that directly or indirectly provide information on the populations at risk, or prevalence of HCV infection. HCV data were modelled by region, age group and sex as well as ethnicity for never-injectors and by injecting status (ex and current).

Results: Overall HCV antibody prevalence in England was estimated at 0.67% [95% credible interval (95% CrI): 0.50-0.94] of those aged 15-59 years, or 203 000 (153 000, 286 000) individuals. HCV prevalence in never-injectors remains low, even after accounting for ethnicity, with a prevalence of 0.05% (95% CrI 0.03-0.10) in those of white/other ethnicity and 0.76% (0.48-1.23) in South Asians. Estimates are similar to 2003, although patterns of injecting drug use are different, with an older population of current injecting drug users and lower estimated numbers of ex-injectors, but higher HCV prevalence.

Conclusions: Incorporating updated information, including data on ethnicity and improved data on injectors, gave similar overall estimates of HCV prevalence in England. Further information on HCV in South Asians and natural history of injecting are required to reduce uncertainty of estimates. This method may be applied to other countries and settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckr083DOI Listing
April 2012
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