BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a persistent epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWID), and PWID remain as the population experiencing the most significant impact of HCV-related morbidity and mortality worldwide.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to synthesize data on the epidemiology of HCV infection among PWID. Our main objectives are to characterize the global and regional distribution and determinants of HCV infection among PWID.
METHODS: A search strategy is conducted that involves both the electronic and manual retrievals of literature. Reports are included in this review if they present data published between 2006 and 2015 on prevalent or incident HCV infection among current or former PWID. Standard meta-analytic techniques are performed to synthesize the pooled data and identify correlates of HCV infection.
RESULTS: The search strategy has been performed, and data collection is in progress. Data analysis will follow, and the final results of this systematic review/meta-analysis are expected by December 2017.
CONCLUSIONS: This article describes the protocol for the systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiology of HCV among PWID. We aim to provide synthesized data on HCV incidence and prevalence as well as to identify factors associated with HCV transmission. Our research contributes empirical evidence that informs scholarly, medical, and policy discussions concerning HCV.
Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus among people who inject drugs: Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis
JMIR Research Protocols, 6 (10), e201. doi: 10.2196/resprot.7936. PMCID: PMC5670319.