Situation with viral hepatitis and HIV infection in Novgorod oblast

  Published: 17.01.12 Updated: 17.01.2012 20:29:17
The Anti-Drug Committee in Novgorod oblast organised a meeting at the end of December 2011. Situation with viral hepatitis and HIV-infection was discussed. Steady increase of viral hepatitis and HIV infection was observed in late 1990s both in Novgorod oblast and in the Russian Federation, mostly among injecting drug users.

An observed incidence of hepatitis C in 1999 reached 25.5 cases per 100,000 population, hepatitis B 56.3/100,000 in 2001 and HIV infection 33.9/100,000 in 2001. Annually there were reported 150 cases of acute hepatitis C, over 400 cases of acute hepatitis B and over 200 cases of HIV infection. The incidence of these diseases in Novgorod oblast is lower than the national mean. Most of the cases of these infections were observed among young people 15-29 years of age. Injecting drug use was the main route of transmission: 42.2-76.4% cases for hepatitis B, 73,8-90.2% for hepatitis C and 70.5-74.5% for HIV infection.

Preventive and anti-epidemic measures were taken to control the spread of these infections, among them the use of disposable medical instruments in hospitals.

Since 2005 in Novgorod oblast donor blood is checked (quarantine) and in 2010 there was 100% of quarantined blood plasma delivered. This prevented hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infections due to blood transfusion as well as due to medical interventions (1 case of hepatitis B was registered in 2009, none in 2010 and 2011).

Vaccination coverage against hepatitis B among 1 year old children in Novgorod oblast was 97.7% (range 95.9-100.0%) in 2010. Among adults vaccination coverage was 45.5% in different districts of Novgorod oblast, ranging from 32.4% to 93.6%.

As a result of implemented measures in 2011 the incidence of acute hepatitis B has decreased 20 times in comparison with the year 2001 and was 2.19 cases per 100,000. The incidence among children under 14 years is not registered since 2005. Incidence of hepatitis C has decreased 4.4 times (2.19 cases per 100,000) in the same period. In 2011 only 14 cases of hepatitis B and 14 cases of hepatitis C were reported in Novgorod oblast.

A stable increase in HIV infection cases has been observed in the last 3 years: 130 newly diagnosed cases were reported in 2009 (10.2% more than in 2008); in 2010 there were 176 reported cases (35.4% more than in 2009) and in 2011 there were 215 newly diagnosed HIV cases reported which is 22.2 % more than in 2010. The diseases are reported in all administrative districts of Novgorod oblast.

In the period of surveillance of viral hepatitis and HIV infection (1990-2010) injecting drug use was observed in 44.3% of cases. In 2011 it was 27.5%.

The Committee has concluded that preventive measures among population have to be carried on, and special attention should be paid to the main transmission routes for HIV infections and the parenteral spread of viral hepatitis; efforts should be made to increase vaccination coverage against hepatitis B, especially in the age group 18-55 years. The leaders of mass media are asked to assist the Committee and the Directorate of Rospotrebnadzor in Novgorod oblast to increase public awareness of these infections and prevention measures against them. In addition managers in governmental and private institutions/organisations are asked to fully support medical staff in organisation of vaccination of the employed population.