Attached are the slides from Holly Hagan's plenary talk on the epidemiology of hepatitis C and injection drug use in New York, from our recent conference. Her presentation suggested that we're getting closer to understanding the dynamics of the hepatitis C epidemic among injection drug users (IDUs), and that while prevention will be difficult, it may not be impossible.
Here are some of her conclusions (adapted from her last slide):
HCV is easily transmitted and difficult to prevent -- we can’t apply what we know about HIV prevention to HCV and expect the same results.
However, variation in prevalence and incidence indicates that there are cases where HCV spreads more slowly:
Prevalence between 30 - 90%
Time to HCV seroconversion: 1.5 - 3.5 years from initiating drug injection
This is logical, because not all IDUs are alike and not all injection settings are alike.
We need to study this variation, to understand how we can alter behavior, beliefs and settings to reduce HCV transmission.
For more, see the full set of slides -- and check out the upcoming National Viral Hepatitis Prevention Conference in December, 2005.
Download epi_of_drug_use_and_hcv_in_nyc_hagan_2005.ppt [PowerPoint file]