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Opportunities to address the hepatitis C epidemic in the correctional setting.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Infectious Diseases
1537-6591
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Volume
40 Suppl 5
Identifiers
PMID: 15768350
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

An estimated 15%-40% of incarcerated persons in the United States are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Approximately 1.4 million HCV-infected persons pass through the corrections system annually, accounting for one-third of the total number of HCV-infected persons in the United States. This high prevalence of HCV infection is due to the substantial increase in drug-related arrests over the past 2 decades. Although the hepatitis C epidemic in the corrections system may be viewed as a burden on correctional health systems, it is an important public health opportunity and an obligation. Research on the implementation of cost-effective HCV screening, prevention, and treatment programs among incarcerated persons is essential. Testing, education, and, when appropriate, treatment of prisoners should be a cornerstone of the public health response to the hepatitis C epidemic in the United States.

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