Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and AIDS in Drug Deaths
Needle sharing among drug addicts leads to the transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and AIDS. Since the identification of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug addicts have been regarded as an important reservoir for hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus is a major cause of the chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis. HCV is a single stranded encapsulated RNA virus probably belonging to the flaviviruses with a diameter of 50–60 nm (Grob and Joller-Gemelka 1990). However, until now only one HCV associated antigen is available for detection of specific antibodies in infected patients. Seroconversion may take 3 to 6 months or more and may occur after onset of clinical symptoms. We have little knowledge about the persistence of HCV antibodies in cases of chronic or resolved non-A, non-B hepatitis. A negative test result therefore does not exclude HCV infection as the patient may have antibodies against other antigen determinants of the virus. Confirmatory tests are necessary to give further information on infectiosity and clinical outcome of patients with antibodies against HCV (anti-HCV), (Marwick and Skolnick 1990).
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Drug Addict Needle Sharing Volunteer Blood Donor
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