Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Addictive Behaviors Reports 5 (2017) pp. 29–32.


© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.


Worldwide there are an estimated 130 million people infected with hepatitis C (HCV), 40 million living with HIV, and between 4 and 5 million co-infected with HIV and HCV (Alter, 2006; Perz, Farrington, Pecoraro, Hutin, & Armstrong, 2004; WHO. AIDS epidemic update, 2004). In Western Europe and the United States, co-infection tends to concentrate among people who inject drugs (PWID) mainly driven by blood contained in shared syringes and contaminated injection equipment (Hahn, Page-Schafer, Lum, et al., 2002; Doerrbecker, Behrendt, Matheu-Gelabert et al., 2013). Epidemiological data shows wide discrepancies in HIV/HCV prevalence among PWID across the world (Bao & Li, 2009; Rahimi-Movaghar, Razaghi, Sahim-Izadian, & Amin-Esmaeili, 2010). In Western Europe some studies involving HIV positive individuals with a history of injection drug use documented a HIV/HCV co-infection rate of around 66%,while similar studies conducted on positive HIV patientswho inject drugs enrolled in a large HIV clinical trial showed that between 72%–95% were co-infected with HCV (Denis et al., 1997; Roca et al., 2003; Sherman, Rouster, Chung, & Rajicic, 2002; Sulkowski & Thomas, 2003).