Estimating the force of infection for HCV in injecting drug users using interval-censored data.
Castro-Sánchez A., Shkedy Z., Hens N., Aerts M., Geskus R., Prins M., Wiessing L., Kretzschmar M.
Injecting drug users (IDUs) account for most new HCV infections. The objectives of this study were: to estimate the force of infection for hepatitis C virus in IDUs within the interval-censoring framework and to determine the impact of risk factors such as frequency of injection, drug injected, sharing of syringes and time of first injection on the time to HCV infection. We used data from the Amsterdam Cohort Study collected in The Netherlands and focused on those individuals who were HCV negative upon entry into the study. Based on the results, the force of infection was found to vary with time of first injection. The risk of infection was higher in the first 3 years of an IDU's career, implying estimates based on single cross-sectional studies could be biased. Frequency of injection and type of drug injected were found to be highly significant predictors, whereas sharing syringes was not.