The incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is 2 to 7 times greater among U.S. American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and Canadian Aboriginal populations than in the general population, according to a recent paper by Drs. Julia Rempel and Julia Uhanova of the University of Manitoba. At U.S. Indian Health Service facilities, there was a four-fold increase in the number of hospitalizations due to acute HCV infection from 1995 to 2007. In their paper, Rempel and Uhanova summarize the extent and impact of HCV infection on Indigenous Peoples in North America, their risk factors for HCV infection, rates of chronic infection, disease progression, treatment outcomes, and comorbidities, such as HIV infection, diabetes, and alcohol use.
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