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Bloodborne Viral Hepatitis Infections among Drug Users: The Role of Vaccination

By Fabio Lugoboni, Gianluca Quaglio, Paolo Civitelli and Paolo Mezzelani


Drug use is a prevalent world-wide phenomenon and hepatitis virus infections are traditionally a major health problem among drug users (DUs). HBV and HCV, and to a lesser extent HAV, are easily transmitted through exposure to infected blood and body fluids. Viral hepatitis is not inevitable for DUs. Licensed vaccines are available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The purpose of this overview is to show some epidemiological data about HBV and the other blood-borne viral hepatitis among DUs and to summarize and discuss use of hepatitis vaccinations in this population. Successful vaccination campaigns among DUs are feasible and well described. We try to focus on the most significant results achieved in successful vaccination programs as reported in scientific literature. Vaccination campaigns among DUs represent a highly effective form of health education and they are cost-saving

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