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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Modelling the spread of hepatitis c virus infection among injecting drug users in Glasgow: implications for prevention

Hutchinson, S. and Bird, S.M. and Taylor, A. and Goldberg, D.J. (2006) Modelling the spread of hepatitis c virus infection among injecting drug users in Glasgow: implications for prevention. International Journal of Drug Policy, 17 (3). pp. 211-221. ISSN 0955-3959

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Abstract

Stochastic simulation was used to model quantitatively the transmission of HCV through the sharing of used needles/syringes among IDUs in Glasgow. This combined information on (a) the incidence and cessation of injecting drug use, (b) the frequencies with which IDUs injected and shared needles/syringes, and (c) the susceptibility, transmissibility and carriage of HCV infection. The model that considered higher infectivity following infection produced seroprevalences (median: 62–72%) and incidences (18–30 per 100 susceptible injector-years) consistent with observed data during the 1990s. The annual number of new HCV infections among Glasgow IDUs was estimated to be low during 1960–1976 (median: 10–60), rise steeply during the early 1980s to peak in 1985 (1120), stabilise during 1991–1997 (510–610) and rise again during 1998–2000 (710–780). Scenario analyses indicated that 4500 HCV infections (10th–90th percentiles: 2400–7700) had potentially been prevented in Glasgow during 1988–2000 as a result of harm-reduction measures. Also, HCV incidence can be successfully reduced if IDUs who, unavoidably, share needles/syringes confine their borrowing to one person; with this strategy alone, an estimated 5300 HCV infections (10th–90th percentiles: 4100–6700) could have been averted in Glasgow during 1988–2000. Such insights will inform those responsible for developing new ways to prevent HCV transmission among IDU populations.