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Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection and its correlates in a rural area of southwestern China: a community-based cross-sectional study

Abstract

Objectives Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem in southwestern China. Our aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of HCV infection and its correlates in the Yi population of this region.

Methods A community-based survey was conducted to investigate sociodemographic characteristics and other associated factors for HCV infection in a rural area of southwestern China. Blood samples were collected and tested for antibodies to HCV. Anti-HCV positive samples were further assessed for HCV RNA.

Results A total of 2558 participants aged 14 years were included in our analysis. Of them, 2.8% (95% CI 2.2% to 3.5%) were positive for HCV antibody. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that sex (male vs female: adjusted OR (aOR)=3.30, 95% CI 1.80 to 6.07), marital status (unmarried vs married: aOR=0.27, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.80), ever using injection drug (aOR=28.65, 95% CI 15.9 to 51.64) and ever having blood transfusion (aOR=7.64, 95% CI 1.94 to 30.16) were significantly associated with HCV infection (indicated by positive HCV antibody). Stratified analysis by HIV infection found that in HIV-negative individuals, sex (male vs female: aOR=3.84, 95% CI 1.88 to 7.85), ever using injection drug (aOR=22.15, 95% CI 8.45 to 58.04), having multiple sexual partners (aOR=2.57, 95% CI 1.26 to 5.23), and ever having blood transfusion (aOR=16.54, 95% CI 4.44 to 61.58) were significantly associated with HCV infection and in HIV-positive individuals, ever using injection drug (aOR=8.96, 95% CI 3.16 to 25.38) was associated with HCV infection.

Conclusion The data suggested a higher risk of HCV infection in this area when compared with the rest of China and some unique associated factors. Rapid scale-up of targeted interventions are needed to prevent further transmission and consequent morbidities.

  • hepatitis C virus
  • Yi minority
  • drug abuse
  • HIV

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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