BMJ open 2017 08 117(8) e015717 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015717
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.
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.
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.
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.