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People who Inject Drugs and Viral Hepatitis

Drugs in spoon being heated by flame

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 drug-preparation equipment. In addition, outbreaks of Hepatitis A infection have been reported among PWIDs; such outbreaks are believed to occur through both percutaneous and fecal-oral routes. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that PWIDs 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 HBV and HCV infection.

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
MMWR 2012;61(RR-5);1-40

Recommendations for Identification and Public Health Management of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection
MMWR 2008;57(RR-8)

Prevention of Hepatitis A Through Active or Passive Immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
MMWR 2006;55(RR-7)

Hepatitis B Vaccination Recommendations for Adults; Appendix A, B, C
PDF version [PDF – 40 pages] (with appendices)
MMWR 2006;55(RR-16)





Patient Resources