Document Detail

Low incidence of hepatitis C virus among prisoners in Scotland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23297816     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIMS: To estimate hepatitis C virus (HCV) incidence and HCV risk among Scottish prisoners.
DESIGN: National sero-behavioural survey; dried blood spots were collected in order to identify recent HCV infections (i.e. HCV antibody-negative and HCV polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive).
SETTING: All 14 closed prisons in Scotland.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 5187 prisoners responded to the survey (79% of available prisoners on survey days) comprising 5076 individuals (after removing incomplete returns and participants surveyed in more than one prison); 95% men, 32% (1625) reported an injecting history (PWID) and median sentence of 9.5 months. HCV antibody samples were available for 4904 participants; there was sufficient sera for HCV PCR for 2446 prisoners who had been in prison for at least 75 days.
MEASUREMENTS: The estimate of in-prison recent infections is based on prisoners incarcerated for a sufficient period, i.e. at least 75 days, so that recent infections could be attributed to prison.
FINDINGS: Overall HCV prevalence was 19%; 53% among people who reported an injecting history and 3% among other prisoners. Three recent infections probably acquired in prison were detected. None of the cases reported injecting during their current sentence or any other potential exposure. Estimated incidence was 0.6-0.9% overall and 3.0-4.3% among PWID (assuming all infections acquired through injecting). Fifty-seven per cent (929) of PWID were receiving opiate substitution treatment (OST) at the time of the survey. Of all prisoners, 2.5% and 8% of PWID reported injecting during their current period of incarceration.
CONCLUSION: The low incidence of HCV infections in Scottish prisons is due most probably to the low occurrence of in-prison injecting and high coverage of OST. Low HCV risk can be achieved in prisons without necessarily introducing needle exchange programmes, but close monitoring of risk behaviours is essential. If risk increases, provision of needle exchange should be considered.
Avril Taylor; Alison Munro; Elizabeth Allen; Karen Dunleavy; Sheila Cameron; Laura Miller; Matthew Hickman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Multicenter Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2013-03-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Addiction (Abingdon, England)     Volume:  108     ISSN:  1360-0443     ISO Abbreviation:  Addiction     Publication Date:  2013 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-06-10     Completed Date:  2014-01-27     Revised Date:  2014-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9304118     Medline TA:  Addiction     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1296-304     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2013 The Authors, Addiction © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.
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MeSH Terms
Cross-Sectional Studies
Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
Risk Factors
Scotland / epidemiology
Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology*
Young Adult
Grant Support
G1000021//Medical Research Council

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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