Prevalence of TB, hepatitis C, HIV high among homeless

August 20, 2012
Prevalence of TB, hepatitis C, HIV high among homeless
The global prevalence of tuberculosis, hepatitis C virus infection, and HIV is high among homeless people, although significant heterogeneity is seen in prevalence estimates, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

(HealthDay) -- The global prevalence of tuberculosis, hepatitis C virus infection, and HIV is high among homeless people, although significant heterogeneity is seen in prevalence estimates, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

In an effort to estimate the prevalence of tuberculosis, virus infection, and HIV among homeless people, Ulla Beijer, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and identified 43 surveys involving a population of 59,736 homeless individuals.

The researchers found that there was significant heterogeneity in prevalence estimates, with prevalences ranging from 0.2 to 7.7 percent for tuberculosis, 3.9 to 36.2 percent for infection, and 0.3 to 21.1 percent for HIV infection; prevalence ratios ranged from 34 to 452, 4 to 70, and 1 to 77, respectively. The prevalence of tuberculosis was higher for studies that used chest radiography for diagnosis, compared with other methods, and in countries with a higher general population prevalence. Newer studies had lower than older studies, and HIV infection prevalence was higher in the United States versus the rest of the world.

"The risks of epidemics of infectious diseases in homeless populations remain significantly higher than those in the general population in the same country," writes the author of an accompanying editorial. "These increased risks are a public health challenge for the population as a whole. Implementation of specific strategies to [reduce] these risks is crucial."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Erectile dysfunction prevalence higher in HIV-infected men

July 12, 2012

(HealthDay) -- HIV infection in men is a strong, independent predictor of erectile dysfunction (ED), regardless of age and body mass index (BMI), according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.