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