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Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 1997 Jan; 44(1): 55-60.

[Prevalence of hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus infection among female prison inmates in Japan]

Nara K, Kawano M, Igarashi M.

Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.

To investigate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus infection in female inmates, 504 out of 513 female inmates in a certain female prison in Japan were tested for anti-hepatitis C virus, anti-hepatitis B virus, anti-hepatitis A virus and anti-human immunodeficiency virus makers. They were also interviewed with regard to past history of blood transfusion, tattooing, acupuncture, intravenous drug abuse, and psychiatric disease. Prevalence of seropositives for anti-hepatitis C virus antibody was found to be significantly higher in prisoners who had a history of intravenous drug abuse (63%) compared to the controls (4.5%). There was no difference between the two groups in prevalence of seropositivity for anti-hepatitis B, anti-hepatitis A and anti-human immunodeficiency virus. Of all inmates who had a history of intravenous drug abuse, anti-hepatitis C positives used drugs longer and in greater quantities than anti-hepatitis C negatives. From these results it is concluded that intravenous drug abuse is a predominant risk factor for hepatitis C virus infection.

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