Drug users, once infected with hepatitis C and battled off the infection appear to be shielded from future infections of the liver-killing virus according to a Canadian study.
WebMD.com said that Drug users in Vancouver, British Columbia were tested by University of British Columbia researchers for presence of Hepatitis C antibodies indicating presence of past infection. Drug users contract hepatitis C mainly through their habit of sharing needles during injection drug use.
WebMD.com said that further testing on the 658 hepatitis C-positive drug users showed that 506 had persistent infection and 152 had rid themselves of active virus.
According to the researchers if treatment-related clearance works similar to spontaneous clearance, future infection might be prevented, leading to big changes in treatment policy.
Although Canadian doctors hesitate to prescribe the treatment to active drug users, the Web site said that if drug users continue to drive the hepatitis C epidemic in developed countries, efforts to control it must include a strategy that addresses this particular population segment.