Hepatitis C infection among drug users in northern Thailand

Jaroon Jittiwutikarn, Satawat Thongsawat, Vinai Suriyanon, Niwat Maneekarn, David Celentano, Myatt Htoo Razak, Namtip Srirak, Tassanai Vongchak, Surinda Kawichai, David Thomas, Teerada Sripaipan, Dale Netski, Ashwin Ananthakrishnan, Kenrad E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Illicit drug users are commonly infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We evaluated the prevalence, incidence, and risk behaviors associated with HCV infection in 1,859 drug users in northern Thailand. The HCV prevalence was 27.3%: 86.0% among drug injectors (IDUs) and 5.3% among those who did not inject. Sexual behavior was not significantly associated with HCV among IDUs or drug users who used but didn't inject illicit drugs; only injection behaviors were independently associated with HCV in multivariate analysis. Among men, a history and increasing frequency of injecting drugs, older age, and a history of incarceration were associated with HCV infection. Among 514 opiate users who were HCV and HIV seronegative at baseline, 41 incident HCV infections and 6 HIV infections occurred on follow-up; the HCV incidence was 5.43/100 person-years; it was 44.3/100 person-years in IDUs and 1.9/100 person-years in non-injectors. HCV and HIV among drug users in Thailand are common and primarily associated with injection behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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