CDC now recommends one-time hepatitis C testing of all adults (18 years and older) and all pregnant women during every pregnancy. CDC continues to recommend people with risk factors, including people who inject drugs, be tested regularly.
People who Inject Drugs and Viral Hepatitis
People who inject drugs (PWID) are at risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection through the sharing of needles and any equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. In addition, outbreaks of hepatitis A have been reported among PWIDs; such outbreaks are believed to occur through both percutaneous and fecal-oral routes. There are currently widespread person-to-person outbreaks of hepatitis A affecting PWID across the United States.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that people who inject drugs get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Because of higher rates of infection among this population, CDC also recommends testing anyone who has injected drugs for hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Guidelines and Recommendations
Integrated Prevention Services for HIV Infection, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis for Persons Who Use Drugs Illicitly: Summary Guidance from CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hepatitis C and HIV Outbreak Detection and Response
The opioid misuse epidemic has substantially increased the transmission risk of blood-borne viruses, including hepatitis C virus and HIV, through injection drug use. The following documents provide guidance on how to prepare for, detect, investigate and respond to an HIV or hepatitis C outbreak among people who inject drugs.
- Managing HIV and Hepatitis C Outbreaks Among People Who Inject Drugs – A Guide For State and Local Health Departments pdf icon[PDF – 102 pages]
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) & Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Outbreak Response Plan pdf icon[PDF – 48 pages]
- Syringe Services Programs (SSPs)
- HIV Prevention Among Injection Drug Users
- HIV and HCV Outbreak Detection and Response
- Opioid Overdose Prevention
- Department of Health and Human Services Implementation Guidance to Support Certain Components of Syringe Services Programs, 2016 pdf icon[PDF – 22 pages]external icon
- National Institute on Drug Abuseexternal icon
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationexternal icon
- American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependenceexternal icon
- WHO: Guidance on prevention of viral hepatitis B and C among people who inject drugsexternal icon
- NACCHO: Infectious Diseases & the Opioid Epidemicexternal icon