Compared with injection drug users’ overall risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV), those IDUs who have been infected and cured have a relatively low risk of contracting the virus again, aidsmap reports. Researchers conducted studies in Norway and Canada that examined reinfection rates among IDUs cured of hep C. They presented their findings at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

The Norwegian study examined 138 individuals cured in the NORTH-C trial in 2004, 94 of whom had been IDUs before being treated. During a median seven years of follow-up, 37 percent of the former IDUs had started using injection drugs again, with 49 percent of that group injecting drugs frequently.

The overall rate of reinfection among the participants was 1.2 per 100 person-years, while the rate for those who had ever injected drugs was 1.8 per 100 person-years, and 4.7 per 100 person-years for those who started injecting drugs again post-cure was.

The Montreal study examined 338 people cured through 2013 in the HEPVIRAC cohort. Eighty-two percent of the participants contracted HCV through injection drug use. During a median 2.7 person-years of follow-up, 22 participants (6.5 percent) became reinfected after being cured. The reinfection rate for the entire cohort was 1.7 per 100 person-years, and 3.6 per 100 person-years among those using injection drugs. The overall rate of HCV infection among IDUs in Montreal is 26 per 100 person-years.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.