28 Jul '11, 1am

Report by Lancet on World Hepatitis Day estimates 10 million people who inject drugs have Hep C: #betterdruglaws

Report by Lancet on World Hepatitis Day estimates 10 million people who inject drugs have Hep C: #betterdruglaws

PARIS: Some 10 million people who inject illegal drugs have hepatitis C while 1.2 million have hepatitis B, according to the first global estimate of infection rates among this population, published on Thursday. Both viral diseases are debilitating and potentially deadly, and public health officials must step up efforts to combat blood-borne transmission and to lower treatment costs, the researchers urged. The health and economic costs of hepatitis C (HCV) spread via injected drugs, on its own, may be as high or higher than for similarly transmitted cases of HIV, they said. The study, published in the British journal The Lancet, found that fully two-thirds of the global population of "injecting drug users" have been exposed, and thus infected, to HVC. About 80 percent are destined to develop chronic infections, and up to 11 percent of these individuals will, within two dec...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/health/view/114351...

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