Factors influencing a low rate of hepatitis C viral RNA clearance in heroin users from Southern China

Rebecca J. Garten, Sheng Han Lai, Jin Bing Zhang, Wei Liu, Jie Chen, Xiao Fang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aim: To study the virological and host factors influencing hepatitis C infection outcomes in heroin users in southern China. Methods: HCV RNA and associated factors were analyzed among 347 heroin users from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southern China who were hepatitis C virus (HCV) EIA positive for two or more consecutive visits. Results: Using the COBAS AMPLICOR HCV TEST, a remarkably low HCV RNA negative rate of 86% was detected. After multivariate logistic regression analysis, HCV RNA clearance was significantly associated with the presence of HBsAg (OR = 8.436, P < 0.0001), the lack of HIV-1 infection (OR = 0.256, P = 0.038) and age younger than 25 (OR = 0.400, P = 0.029). Conclusion: Our study suggests HCV infection among Chinese heroin users results in high levels of viral persistence even amidst factors previously found to enhance viral clearance. Prospective studies of a possible genetic component within the Chinese population and the pathogenicity of non-genotype 1 HCV infections are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1878-1884
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 28 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Clearance
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Heroin users

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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