South Africa: Study Reveals Devastating Impact of Viral Hepatitis in SA


analysis

On the streets, there is a silent killer that preys on drug users and which does not have the notoriety of HIV/Aids, but is responsible for more deaths. Unlike HIV/Aids, it is easily cured and its spread can be prevented by using clean needles.

Viral hepatitis is responsible for 1.34 million deaths a year globally and, for the first time, research has revealed the impact the disease has on drug users in three South African cities.

The study involved a sample of 943 users who inject drugs, from Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. The researchers took blood samples from these users and tested them for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The results were published in the Harm Reduction Journal.

The study found that HIV prevalence was 21% of the sample, hepatitis B stood at 5% and that the incidence of hepatitis C was far higher.

“Half the sample had been infected with hepatitis C at some stage, and of those, 46% of males and 34% females were actively infected,” says Dr Andrew Scheibe, from the TB/HIV Care Association, the study’s lead.

This research comes on the back of a recent study by ENACT, an organisation that monitors and develops…

ADVERTISEMENT



Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/201905140625.html

Author :

Publish date : 2019-05-14 11:46:27

Tags:
share on: