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Research Finds The Reason For Spike In HIV & Hepatitis C

HIV and hepatitis C are the two well known infectious diseases. Majority of the people living with HIV and hepatitis acquire the disease without any prior knowledge. It is only when they start developing the symptoms they go for the test and get diagnosed.

The moment when one learns that they have this serious disease, they tend to get a feeling that the world has come to an end. If not taken care of on time and start up with the right medication immediately then the case might go worse and turn fatal as well.

As it is well said that prevention is better than care, one needs to be very careful. However, a new research has found that as a result of increased opioid use, worldwide nearly one in six people are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and more than half have been exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV), and one in ten have active Hepatitis B virus (HBV).

According to the study, globally an estimated 15.6 million people injected drugs, in the age group 15-64 years, in 2015. Out of these, 18 per cent are living with HIV infection and 52 per cent test positive for hepatitis C antibody.

During the study, the researchers found evidence of injected drug use in 179 countries that contain 99 per cent of the world's population aged 15-64 years, up from 148 countries in 2007. The largest use of injected drugs were found in east and southeast Asia (4.0 million, 3.0-5.0 million), eastern Europe (3.0 million, 1.7-5.0 million), and North America (2.6 million, 1.5-4.4 million).

The main drug was either an opioid (heroin or other opioid) or stimulant (amphetamine or cocaine). In addition, sharing of equipment used for injecting drug use was found as the substantial cause of disease burden and a contributor to blood-borne virus transmission, as per the researchers.

The research was recently published in the journal The Lancet Global Health.

Meanwhile, here are a few of the best ways to prevent Hepatitis C & HIV. Take a look.

1. Never Share Needles:

Sharing needles should be strictly avoided as this is one of the major medical equipment that puts one at a risk of developing the infection, whether it is HIV or hepatitis C. Hence, one needs to be very careful while using the needles. Make sure you use a new, sterilized needles whenever you are getting an injection.

2. Never Share Personal Care Items:

You should not share your personal care items like razors, hair clippers and scissors. Many times people tend to cut themselves while shaving so even a small amount of blood can infect the other person. This is how one can get infected with HIV or hepatitis C. Hence, you should be very careful. It is always better to use one's own personal belongings.

3. Safe Sex:

Engaging yourself in rough sex, with multiple partners, leads to a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted disease, HIV. This in turn will put you at a risk of developing hepatitis C.

(With Agency Inputs)

Read more about: hiv hepatitis
Story first published: Thursday, October 26, 2017, 10:51 [IST]
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