Burden of blood transmitted infections in substance users admitted for inpatient treatment in Singapore and the associated factors

Rochelle Melina Kinson, Song Guo, Yi Min Wan, Victoria Manning, Hui Chin Teoh, Kim Eng Wong

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INTRODUCTION There is a paucity of local data on the prevalence of blood transmitted infections (BTIs), such ashepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections, among illicit drug users. This study aimedto examine the prevalence of BTIs among substance‑dependent inpatients and identify the factors associated with BTIs.METHODS We conducted a retrospective case note analysis of 170 inpatients who had a history of substance dependenceand were seen at the National Addictions Management Service, Singapore, between 1 June 2009 and 31 May 2010.RESULTS The majority of the 170 inpatients were male (88.2%) and Chinese (58.2%). The mean age of the patients was43.1 years, and the main drug of abuse was opioids (86.5%). BTIs were found in 70 (41.2%) inpatients; the prevalence ofhepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infections was 3.7%, 39.6% and 0%, respectively. Lifetime intravenous drug use, but notneedle-sharing, was more common among inpatients who were positive for BTIs (p < 0.01). Logistic regression analysisshowed that lifetime intravenous drug use (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.7–10.8, p < 0.01) was the only significant predictor of BTI.CONCLUSION 41.2% of the substance users seeking help were positive for at least one BTI. Lifetime intravenous drugusers were found to be more than four times more likely to have a BTI. Early detection and prevention is essential toimprove prognosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalSingapore Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • hepatitis B virus
  • hepatitis C virus
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • intravenous drug use
  • substance use disorder

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