Previous studies have reported decreasing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rates in the general population. However, differential susceptibility in institutionalized populations suggest that HCV infection is even more prevalent in prison populations than previously reported yet, routine screening for HCV infection among prisoners is not generally available. We estimated the HCV prevalence and identified associated exposures at two maximum-security prisons using data obtained from 2788 inmates from the Risk Factors for Spread of Staphylococcus aureus in Prisons Study in New York, which recruited participants from January 2009 and January 2013. HCV prevalence was 10.1% (n=295); injection drug use, injection drug use sex partners, and HIV diagnosis exhibited the strongest associations with HCV infection in multivariable models, adjusting for covariates. Taken together, the findings of the present study provide an updated estimate of HCV prevalence and suggest that incarcerated populations represent a declining yet significant portion of the hepatitis epidemic.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Hepatitis C virus; Incarcerated populations; Infectious diseases.
Copyright © 2014 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.