Risk Factors of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Drug Users From Eleven Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinics in Xi’an, China


wei xiaoli 1 , Wang Lirong 1 , Wang Xueliang 1 , * , Li Jinsong 2 , Li Hengxin 2 , Jia Wei 3

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Xi’an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi’an, China

2 Xi’an Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xi’an, China

3 Methadone Maintenance Therapy Clinic, Xi’an Mental Health Center, Xi’an, China

How to Cite: xiaoli W, Lirong W, Xueliang W, Jinsong L, Hengxin L, et al. Risk Factors of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Drug Users From Eleven Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinics in Xi’an, China, Hepat Mon. 2014 ; 14(11):e93072. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.19601.


Hepatitis Monthly: 14 (11); e93072
Published Online: November 23, 2014
Article Type: Research Article
Received: May 06, 2019
Accepted: November 08, 2014


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rates in drug users vary among different regions of China. Drug users who are unaware of their HCV serostatus tend to engage in more risky behaviors.

Objectives: This prospective study aimed to assess risk factors of HCV infection in drug users among 11 methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) clinics in Xi’an, China.

Patients and Methods: Baseline characteristics and drug use information of patients were collected upon enrollment in the study and anti-HCV tests were performed within one month after the enrollment. Data on daily medication, monthly random urine morphine test results, illicit drug use and MMT retention time were recorded during a 5-year follow-up.

Results: Of 10243 patients, 58.0% had positive results for anti-HCV. Injection drug use, longer duration of drug abuse, older age, female gender, unmarried status and unemployment were independent risk factors of HCV infection. Urine test positivity rate was lower (14.8% vs. 16.7%, χ2 = 100.235, P < 0.05), but MMT retention rate was higher (log-rank χ2 = 4.397, P < 0.05) in the anti-HCV positive group than anti-HCV negative one. However, multivariate regression revealed no significant association between anti-HCV serostatus and either MMT retention time or illicit drug use.

Conclusions: The major risk factor of HCV infection was injection drug use. The patient’s awareness of his or her HCV status had a minor effect in reduction of illicit drug use and improvement in MMT retention. Therefore, adequate counseling is necessary for drug users in MMT clinics in Xi’an.



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