Background This study aims to: (1) document the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) patients in Kunming and Shanghai; (2) examine risk factors for HCV by comparing those who tested positive with those who were negative and (3) examine if HCV serostatus is related to attitudes toward MMT. Methods Using data collected from 306 patients admitted to MMT in 20092010 in Shanghai and Kunming, we compared HCV-positive and HCV-negative patients (based on clinical records) on their HCV knowledge and risk behaviors and attitudes toward MMT. Results The HCV seropositive rate was 53.3 (51.3 in Shanghai and 55.5 in Kunming) and a majority of patients did not know their serostatus. Patients scored on average fewer than 6 correct out of the 20 items in the HCV knowledge questionnaire. Recent injection use and length of opiate use were strong predictors of HCV status, while no differences were found between HCV-positive and HCV-negative individuals in sexual risks or HCV knowledge. Both groups expressed similar views toward MMT. Conclusion The high HCV prevalence and the general lack of knowledge about HCV infection, transmission and treatment suggest the need to provide HCV education and health promotion programs among patients in MMT.
- communicable diseases
- health services
- public health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health