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1.  Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus among young prisoners 
Background:
Juveniles in custody are affected by sexually transmitted infections due to risky behaviors. Therefore, they have a disproportionate burden of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this study, the prevalence and associated characteristics of hepatitis B and HIV infections were assessed in young prisoners.
Materials and Methods:
In this cross-sectional study, prevalence of HBV and HIV infections was assessed among young prisoners during 2008-2009. A checklist consisting of demographic, social, and risk factors was filled out and blood was drawn for their tests. Sera were analyzed for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag), hepatitis B surface antibody (HBs Ab), hepatitis B core antibody (HBc Ab) and HIV Ab, and Western blot test was performed on antibody-positive HIV.
Results:
A total number of 160 young prisoners (147 boys and 13 girls) were evaluated. The mean age of the subjects was 16.59 ± 1.24 year. HBs Ag, HBc Ab, HBs Ab, and HIV Ab were detected in 1 (0.63%), 1 (0.63%), 52 (32.5%), and 1 (0.63%), respectively.
Conclusion:
With respect to national vaccination program against HBV infection, the juvenile prisoners had low prevalence of HBs Ab.
PMCID: PMC3719232  PMID: 23900503
Hepatitis B virus; human immunodeficiency virus; young prisoners
2.  Hepatitis C among Intravenous Drug Users in Isfahan, Iran: a Study of Seroprevalence and Risk Factors 
Objectives:
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major public health problems worldwide which is transmitted through contact with infected blood or blood products. One of the most prevalent modes of HCV transmission is injecting drug with unclean needles or syringes. Therefore intravenous drug users (IVDUs) are the most important group who should be considered. The aim of this study was to evaluate seroprevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus in IVDUs population.
Methods:
The cross-sectional study was carried out on intravenous drug users who attended health and social care Drop-in centers during November 2008 to February 2009 in Isfahan province, Iran. Data was gathered using interviewer-administered questionnaire including demographic characteristics and main risk factors for HCV infection. 5ml venous blood sample was obtained from each subject. The HCV-Ab test was performed on all blood samples by ELISA. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistical methods and multiple logistic regressions by SPSS software, version 15.
Results:
The mean age of participants was 31.77 ± 8.51. 503 (94.7%) were men and 28 (5.3%) were women. HCV seroprevalence was 47.1% (95% CI: 42.9, 51.3). The multiple logistic regressions demonstrated that history of tattooing (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.02-2.90), history of imprisonment (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.40-4.42) and sharing needles/syringes (OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.54-4.95) are significant predictors of risk of HCV in IVDU population.
Conclusions:
In conclusion, according to the high prevalence of HCV infection among IVDUs and high adds of HCV infection from tattooing, sharing of needles/syringes and imprisonment, effective harm reduction programs should be expanded among IVDUs to prevent new HCV infections.
PMCID: PMC3399288  PMID: 22826755
Hepatitis C virus; High-risky behaviors; Intravenous drug users; Risk factors
3.  Prevalence of Anti HCV Infection in Patients with Beta-Thalassemia in Isfahan-Iran 
Objectives:
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major cause of post-transfusion hepatitis infection (PTH). Patients with thalassemia major are at high risk of hepatitis C due to the blood transfusion from donors infected by HCV. The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies and risk factors in multitransfused thalassemic patients in Isfahan-Iran to establish more preventive strategies.
Methods:
This study was conducted to assess the patients with beta-thalassemia in Isfahan hospitals during 1996-2011 for HCV infection. A structured interview questionnaire was developed by the trained researcher to collect the demographic and risk factors. Statistical analysis was done by Chi-square test, Mann-Withney and multiple logistic regressions using SPSS software, version 15.
Results:
466 patients with major thalassemia participated in this study. The mean age of patients was 17.46 ± 8.3. Two hundred and seventy (58.3%) and 193 (41.7%) of participants were male and female, respectively. The prevalence of HCV was estimated 8% among thalassemia patients. History of surgery, history of dental procedure, number of units transfused per month, number of transfusion per month and duration of transfusion had significant association with HCV seropositivity in univariate analysis. There were no statistical significant risk factors for HCV seropositivity in multiple logistic regression models.
Conclusions:
Our findings revealed that blood transfusion was the main risk factors for HCV infection among beta-thalassemic patients. Therefore, more blood donor screening programs and effective screening techniques are needed to prevent transmission of HCV infection among beta-thalassemic patients.
PMCID: PMC3399295  PMID: 22826753
Beta-thalassemia; HCV infection; Iran
4.  High risky behaviors among intravenous drug users in Isfahan, Iran: A study for hepatitis C harm reduction programs 
Objectives:
Intravenous drug users (IVDUs) who share needles/syringes and practice sexual behaviors, are the most important group in the transmission of blood-borne infection diseases such as hepatitis C virus (HCV). Therefore identification of prevalent high-risky behaviors among IVDUs to detect the most route of transmission among them is essential to develop harm reduction programs among IVDUs and decrease HCV transmission from them to community.
Methods:
The cross-sectional study was carried out on 1510 intravenous drug users from November 2008 to February 2009 in Isfahan province, Iran. After obtaining consent form from participants, information was collected by interviewer-administered validated questionnaire. The data was analyzed with descriptive statistical methods by SPSS software, version 15.
Results:
1510 IVDUs participated in the study with the mean age 32.16 ± 8.26. 66.4% of participants had a history of illegal sexual activity. Among male IVDUs who had illegal sexual contact, 40.6% reported having homosexual contact and 36.2% of them have used condom in their contact. Also 57.7% had sexual contact with female sex workers. 83.5% of IVDUs reported having multiple sexual partners, and 30.9% had IVDUs sexual partners. The mean number of injection and duration of injection among IVDUs were 75.12 ± 95.51 times per month and 12.34 ± 7.53 years respectively. 36.9% of subjects have reported sharing needles/syringes.
Conclusions:
According to the high prevalence of unprotected sexual contacts and unsafe injection among IVDUs, effectiveness interventions and harm reduction programs are necessary to prevent spread of blood-borne infection diseases particularly HCV. With reduction of risky behaviors and consequently decrease of spread of HCV, these programs benefit both drug users and society.
PMCID: PMC3399296  PMID: 22826773
Hepatitis C virus; high-risky behaviors; intravenous drug users
5.  Hepatitis C Virus and Associated Risk Factors among Prison Inmates with History of Drug Injection in Isfahan, Iran 
Objectives:
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem worldwide with serious complications. According to the importance of intravenous drug use (IDU) as the main risk factor for HCV infection and transmission and prison as the main source of risky behaviors, this study conducted to define HCV infection and related risk factors in prison inmates with history of IDU in Isfahan province, Iran.
Methods:
This is a cross –sectional study which the prison inmates with IDU history in voluntary basis were enrolled. A validated questionnaire was asked and blood sample was obtained from each subject for the presence of HCV antibody. Odds ratio and logistic regression were used for data analysis and P-value < 0.05 considered significant.
Results:
I943 inmates with history of IDU participated in the study. The overall prevalence of HCV antibody was 41.6%. The main independent risk factors were number of injection in the month [OR: 1.006 (1.002- 1.011)], Length of drug addiction [OR: 1.05 (1.004-1.098)], multiple incarceration [OR: 1.15 (1.05-1.23)] and use of needle/syringe share inside prison [OR: 4.19 (2.22-7.9)]. In our study, marriage was a protective factor for HCV infection [OR: 0.34 (0.18-0.64)] as well.
Conclusions:
According to relatively high prevalence of HCV infection and associated risk factors which observed in this study it is important to primary prevention in prisons through syringe/needle exchange and counsel with imprisoned IDUs.
PMCID: PMC3399300  PMID: 22826759
HCV; IDU; Prison
6.  Seroprevalence of Hepatitis A in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C in Isfahan Province 
Objectives:
Patients with Hepatitis C Virus infection are at high risk of getting hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A virus is an important widespread virus that usually causes more severe medical consequences in patients with chronic liver disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate prevalence of Hepatitis A Virus antibody in patients with chronic HCV in Isfahan province, Iran.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out on 117 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus from spring 2010 to spring 2011. Subject's characteristics such as age, gender, education, genotype of HCV infection and history of intravenous drug use were collected by questionnaire and studied. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS software (version 19.0. 2010, SPSS) using Chi-square test, Fisher Exact tests and Cochran-Armitage trend test.
Results:
The mean age of the subjects was 33.18 ± 10.97 years. The seroprevalence of HAV was 94.9% in patients with chronic HCV. The prevalence of anti-HAV increased nearly as age increased. But, there was no statistically significant difference in HAV positive rate according to the age groups (P = 0.242) and other patient's characteristics.
Conclusions:
According to the high HAV immunity in our study and less severe form of HAV infection, vaccination was not required in these patients. However, hepatitis A vaccination program should be performed in HAV seronegative patients with HCV to produce an adequate immune response.
PMCID: PMC3399306  PMID: 22826750
Chronic liver diseases; Hepatitis A virus; Hepatitis C virus
7.  Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Infection among Laboratory Health Care Workers in Isfahan, Iran 
Objectives:
Clinical laboratory health care workers can become infected through their occupation with blood-borne pathogens by percutanous injuries and mucocutaneous blood contacts such as cuts, needle sticks, splashes to mucous membranes or other body injuries. The purpose of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of, Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and some of the risk factors in medical laboratory health care workers.
Methods:
Through a descriptive cross sectional study, 203 participants employed in the clinical laboratories of the city of Isfahan, composed of medical laboratory technologists, technicians and cleaning staff were studied. Participant data were obtained through a self-reporting questionnaire and the level of anti-HCV antibody was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Chi-square test was used to determine risk factors associated with infection.
Results:
The mean age of the individuals (n = 203) was 35.8 ± 9.54 years. There were 115 women (56.7%) and 88 men (43.3%). All of the subjects were negative for HCV Ab.
Conclusions:
Hepatitis C infection is infrequent in laboratory health care workers in Isfahan province.
PMCID: PMC3399309  PMID: 22826757
Anti HCV antibody; health care workers; occupational exposure
8.  Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis C Virus among Juveniles in Correctional Center in Isfahan, Iran 
Objectives:
Juveniles in custody are affected by blood borne viruses due to high rates of risk behaviors. Therefore, they have a disproportionate burden of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The purpose of the present study was to determine prevalence and associated characteristics of hepatitis C infection in inmates of a correctional center in Isfahan, Iran.
Methods:
We conducted a cross-sectional study of HCV infection in 160 youths, who were admitted to correctional center in Isfahan during 2008-2009. Subjects were asked questions regarding behaviors that might put them at high risk for acquiring HCV and blood was drawn for this test. Sera were analyzed for HCV Ab and RIBA test was performed on antibody-positive HCV. We used Chi-square test and logistic regression model to analyze data and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results:
A total of 160 young prisoners (147 boys and 13 girls) were studied. The mean age of the inmates was 16.59 ± 1.24 year. A history of intravenous drug addiction was reported in 3.8% of them. HCV infection was detected in 7 (4.4%) subjects. This study revealed that history of IDU was the main risk factor for HCV (OR, 134.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.29-2481.03).
Conclusions:
To prevent HCV transmission, proper drug prevention educations should be performed in young age prisoners.
PMCID: PMC3399313  PMID: 22826752
Correctional center; HCV; Isfahan

Results 1-8 (8)