Hepatitis C (HCV) is rapidly growing and has become the most common blood-borne infection throughout the United States. The objective of this study was to compare trends in rates of injection drug use (IDU), specifically opioid injection, with national trends in the incidence of acute HCV infection to assess whether these events correlated over time. The methodology was a literature review. To test for trends researchers calculated the annual incidence rate, demographics, and risk characteristics of reported cases of acute HCV infection using surveillance data from 2004 to 2014. They also analyzed the annual percentage of admissions to substance use disorder treatment facilities reporting injection drug use for the same time period by type of drug injected and demographic characteristics. Using the six sources, the results showed that significant increases in opioid injection mirrored those for reported cases of acute HCV infection among demographic subgroups. Injection drug use was the primary risk factor for HCV transmission and the leading cause of incidence in the U.S. Interventions were identified to help end the “opioid epidemic”, which then in return would reduce positive cases of HCV infections.
Poell, Chelsea and McClaskey, Barbara, "Increasing Hepatitis C Infection Related to Growing Opioid Epidemic" (2019). Posters. 51.