Hepatitis and HIV Among Substance Abusers in Mizoram, Northeast India – A Hospital Based 12 Years Retrospective Study

Author: Lalchhanhima Ralte

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2022

Mizoram in Northeast India bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh has the second highest HIV
prevalence rate in India at 0.80% triggered by rampant substance misuse, porous international
border and proximity to the golden triangle. However, studies on HIV and Hepatitis co-infection
among intravenous drug users, alcoholics or those with injection abscess/venous ulcers are minimal.
A hospital based retrospective study was done using hospital register of K-ward, a hospital ward
dedicated specially for substance misuse, at Presbyterian Synod Hospital, which is a 300 bedded
secondary hospital located in Mizoram, India. From 2005 to 2016, patients admitted at K-ward either
for alcohol misuse or intravenous drug misuse or those with injection abscess/venous ulcers were
Total number of patients admitted (2005-16) was 3957. Reasons for admission were 30% alcohol,
43% intravenous drug use and 27% due to injection abscess/venous ulcer. While 47% of those
admitted were in the age group between 20 – 29years.
The prevalence of Hepatitis C among intravenous drug users was 69.3%, HIV at 19.4% and Hep B at
4.3%. While alcohol users have prevalence of Hepatitis C at 28%, HIV at 3.5% and Hep B at 3.1%.
Regarding co-infections, 0.40% of the patients had Hepatitis C, B and HIV. Nearly 7% of them had HIV
and Hepatitis C co-infections.
The prevalence of Hepatitis C, B and HIV was the highest among intravenous drug users as compared
to alcohol user or those with injection abscess/venous ulceration. There seemed to be an association
between HIV and Hepatitis C co-infection especially among the IVDU. Harm reduction strategies
needs to be strengthened.
Disclosure of Interest Statement:
Nothing to disclose.

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