I read this and don´t really understood what it means. Someone help me, this meas HIV ins transmitted by snorting coke?
Evidence to support belief in transmission of hepatitis C by sharing drug sniffing equipment printer friendly version send to friend glossary comment
Roger Pebody, Thursday, September 11, 2008
Hepatitis C can be detected in the nasal passage, and in straws which are inserted in the nose, report researchers in the October 1st edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Their findings support the hypothesis that hepatitis C can be transmitted by sharing straws or banknotes which are used to snort drugs.
The theory of hepatitis C transmission through this route is that frequent or long-term sniffing or snorting of drugs such as cocaine can cause damage and bleeding in the nasal passage. Straws or banknotes that are inserted in the nose could come into contact with hepatitis C infected blood or mucus, which may then be transmitted to someone else sharing the same straw.
In recent years there have been numerous outbreaks of hepatitis C among HIV-positive gay men in Europe. Whilst there is a growing body of evidence that infection is associated with sexual practices including fisting, use of sex toys and group sex, some studies have also suggested that sniffing drugs may contribute to transmission.
At the same time, in many countries up to a quarter of hepatitis C infections remain unexplained, with individuals reporting no risky practices such as use of shared drug injection equipment.
And a number of epidemiological studies in largely HIV-negative populations (typically, blood donors or street drug users who do not inject) have found an association between snorting drugs and hepatitis C infection. Nonetheless not all studies have reported this finding, and there have been some criticisms of the methodological quality of these studies.
However, until now no study has examined the virological plausibility of the belief that sharing equipment to sniff drugs may contribute to hepatitis transmission. Investigators in New York therefore recruited 38 adults who snort drugs and have hepatitis C at a neighbourhood health clinic.
Tests conducted included:
Nasal swabs to test for the presence of hepatitis C and blood in the nasal passage
Each subject was asked to inhale air through plastic straws, which were then tested for hepatitis C and blood
An examination of the nasal cavity to check for disease.
In these tests, hepatitis C RNA was detected using the same sort of technology as a viral load test.
A third of the sample was coinfected with HIV, and 45% with hepatitis B. Hepatitis C viral load varied widely in the sample, with a mean of 5000 copies/ml. Liver function tests for ALT (alanine aminotransferase) indicated some damage, with a mean of 47 u/l.