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CORRESPONDENCE
Year : 2004  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 138
 

Prevalence of HIV and HCV amongst intravenous drug users of Kolkata


Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata - 700 073, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Chittaranjan Avenue, Kolkata - 700 073, India



How to cite this article:
Pal D, Ojha S K. Prevalence of HIV and HCV amongst intravenous drug users of Kolkata. Indian J Med Microbiol 2004;22:138


How to cite this URL:
Pal D, Ojha S K. Prevalence of HIV and HCV amongst intravenous drug users of Kolkata. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2004 [cited 2019 Nov 12];22:138. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2004/22/2/138/8094


Dear Editor,
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV are major blood borne viruses, transmitted by blood products and intravenous drug use. The prevalence of HIV amongst drug users in India is well documented,[1] but the prevalence of HCV in this group is not known. However, HCV infection amongst drug users is said to be high in other countries.[2],[3],[4] The prevalence of HCV infection amongst drug users in Kolkata was thus studied as part of Sentinel Surveillance Programme for HIV.
Blood was collected from 205 intravenous drug users and allowed to clot. Serum was separated and tested for HCV antibody by LG HCD 3.0, third generation kit and HIV by third generation ELISA and Spot test. Out of 205 drug users, only one was female. Most of the drug users were between the age of 30-44 years and 98.04% were from the urban area. Most were agricultural or unskilled workers (65/205) or were unemployed (89/205). HCV antibody was positive in 88/205 (42.92%) cases. The same population when tested for HIV showed only 3/205 (1.46%) positives for HIV-1. No case of HIV-II was detected. Samples were tested in another center (Department of Virology, STM, Kolkata) for HCV antibody and results were found to be identical.
The prevalence of HIV in this group (1.46%) is low, compared to all India figure (2.40%) by NACO, but the prevalence of HCV appears to be very high (42.96%) (P<001). The reason for high HCV positivity is not known, but the low positivity of HIV amongst the drug users could be due to the fact that in general HIV positivity in Kolkata amongst the high risk population is lower than in other metropolitan cities.[5] The high prevalence of HCV in the drug users could serve as a pool and source of infection to the community, unless adequate steps are taken to control this at the earliest. 

 ~ References Top

1.www.naco.nic.in. Monthly report of AIDS cases in India, September 2003.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Esteban JI, Esteban R, Viladomin L, Lopez-Talavera JC, Gonzolez A, Hernandez JM, Roget M, Vargas V, Genesca J, Guardia J. Hepatitis C Virus antibodies among risk groups in Spain. Lancet 1989; 2(8658):294-297.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Smyth R, Keenan E, Dorman A, O'Conner J. Hepatitis C infection among infecting drug users attending the National Drug Treatment Centre. Israel J Med Sci 1995;164:267-268.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.van der Poel CL, Reesink HW, Lelie PN, Leentvaar-Kuzpers A, Choo QL, Kuo G, Houghton M. Anti-hepatitis C antibodies and Non A, Non B post transfusion hepatitis in the Netherlands. Lancet 1989;2(8658):297-298.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Pal D, Chattopadhyay UK, Raut DK, Das BN. HIV infection amongst commercial sex workers in Calcutta. Indian J Med Microbiol 1999;17(1):32-33.  Back to cited text no. 5    
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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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