Purpose of review: Drug abuse has resulted in a huge public health and economic burden in China, especially the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Multiple HIV and HCV subtypes were detected among drug users in China, this study reviews the molecular distribution of HIV and HCV among injection drug users (IDUs) and explores new epidemiologic trends of HIV and HCV among drug users in China.
Recent findings: The 2009 National Narcotic Control Commission report showed that the percentage of users of ‘new-type drugs’, including amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS: methamphetamine and MDMA/ecstasy) and ketamine, was about 27% of total drug users. The pooled data from published papers showed that CRF07BC was the predominant HIV-1 subtype, which accounted for 38.8%, and it was followed by AE, which accounted for 22.7% among HIV-positive IDUs. Following these, the CRF08BC, B' and C subtypes accounted for about 10.8%, 9.9% and 9.2%, respectively. Subtype 6a was the predominant HCV subtype, accounting for 36.7%, and subtypes 3b, 1a, 3a and 1b were the next most predominant subtypes.
Summary: With the increase of ‘new-type drugs’ use and AE HIV-1 subtype infection among IDUs, the situation regarding HIV/AIDS and HCV infection has become complicated. More comprehensive prevention and intervention strategies should be instigated for the extensive high-risk populations in China.
National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University, Beijing, China
Correspondence to Drs Zhi-min Liu and Lin Lu, National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University, 38, Xue Yuan Road, Hai Dian District, Beijing 100083, China Fax: +86 10 62032624