The assessment of hepatitis B seroprevalence in persons with intravenous drug use history in the Isfahan province: Community-based study

Mahsa Khodadoostan, Behrooz Ataei, Ahmad Shavakhi, Tahmine Tavakoli, Zary Nokhodian, Majid Yaran


Background: Hepatitis B with its complications has become one of the universal problems. Injection drug use is one of the most important risk factors in the transmission of hepatitis B. Therefore, we assessed hepatitis B virus prevalence among cases with a history of intravenous drug use (IVDU) as the first announcement-based study in this regard. Materials and Methods: The announcement based detection of hepatitis B seroprevalence in volunteers with a history of intravenous drug use was conducted in the Isfahan province. A comprehensive community announcement was made in all the public places and to all physicians, in all the regions. One thousand five hundred and eighty-eight volunteers were invited to the Isfahan reference laboratories and serum samples were tested for HBs-Ag, HBc Ab, and HBs-Ab, using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Results: In this study, 1588 individuals volunteered, who were estimated to be 50% of all the expected intravenous drug users in the community. HBs Ag was detected in 4.2% of them. HBc Ab and HBs Ab were detected in order in 11.4 and 17.3%, respectively. Conclusion: We estimated that the seroprevalence of hepatitis B positivity in intravenous drug users was moderate to high. Therefore, it was suggested that this group be encouraged to prevent acquiring infection by vaccination, education, counseling for risk reduction, and treatment of substance abuse, and finally hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening.

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