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Open Access Research article

Infection status and risk factors of HIV, HBV, HCV, and syphilis among drug users in Guangdong, China - a cross-sectional study

Jie Wu1, Jinying Huang2, Duorong Xu3, Ciyong Lu1*, Xueqing Deng1 and Xiaolan Zhou1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, SUN Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Qingyuan, China

3 Department of Hematology, the First Affiliated Hospital, SUN Yat-sen, University, Guangzhou, China

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:657  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-657

Published: 1 November 2010



China has witnessed a remarkable increase in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV. The study is to assess the prevalence of HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis and related risk factors among drug users in mandatory detoxification center Qingyuan, Guangdong, China.


A cross-sectional study on drug use behaviors, sex behaviors, and presence of antibodies to HIV, HCV, Treponema pallidum, and surface antigen of HBV (HBsAg) was conducted among drug users recruited from 3 detoxification centers in Qingyuan, Guangdong, China. Risk factors for each of four infections were analyzed with logistic regression model.


A total of 740 subjects were recruited, the median age was 31 years old (range 24-38). The seroprevalence rates of HIV, HBsAg, HCV and syphilis were 4.6%, 19.3%, 71.6% and 12.6%, respectively. Risk factors for HIV were intravenous drug use and co-infection with syphilis. Having a regular sexual partner who was a drug user was considered to be a risk factor for HBV. Intravenous drug use was a risk factor for HCV. However, the consistent use of condoms with commercial sex partners was protective for HCV infection. Compared to drug users living in urban area, those living in rural areas were more likely to be infected with syphilis, and there was an association between commercial sex and syphilis.


The prevalence of HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis were high among drug users in detoxification centers in Qingyuan, thus, risk reduction programs for the drug user population is urgently required.