Intended for healthcare professionals


Minimising harm from hepatitis C virus needs better strategies

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:899
  1. Nick Crofts (, head,
  2. Sonia Caruana, research assistant,
  3. Scott Bowden, molecular microbiologist,
  4. Michael Kerger, outreach worker
  1. Epidemiology and Social Research Unit, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, PO Box 254, Fairfield, Victoria 3078, Australia
  2. Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, Locked Bag 815, Carlton South, Victoria 3053, Australia
  3. Centre for Harm Reduction/Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Footscray, Victoria 3011, Australia

    EDITOR—Hepatitis C virus and HIV are both blood borne, and infection may occur in injecting drug users, transmitted by sharing contaminated needles and syringes. Despite extensive harm reduction programmes in Australia, hepatitis C virus continues to spread among injecting drug users, but HIV does not, partly because the prevalence of hepatitis C virus has been high among injecting drug users in Australia since at least 1971, whereas that of HIV, present only from around 1982, has remained low.1

    Hepatitis C virus has a higher average …

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