A new mission for needle exchange birthed by the AIDS epidemic | CANDICE RUUD

They come in crumpled paper bags or inside empty water bottles. Sometimes, they come in buckets. Whatever the vessel, when the dirty needles are handed in, they’re traded for clean ones.

In the 28 years since it opened, the core mission of the Tacoma Needle Exchange has stayed the same: to stop the spread of disease among intravenous drug users.

But the job, and the challenges, have changed. With surging rates of new infections, hepatitis C has become one of the chief public health concerns among those who shoot up heroin and other drugs, and more and more people are coming to the exchange each year.


New report finds dramatic increase in Hepatitis C cases in young adults | JJ Lee

Today, Alaska’s Division of Public Health released a report that reveals that Hepatitis C (HCV) infections have been increasing statewide for the last five years with some regions increasing in their rate of young adult infection by as much as 270 percent.

The Section of Epidemiology tracks the number of HCV infections from 2011-2015 for this report, concluding that the number of HCV cases rose “considerably” across all age groups.

However, the most significant rise in HCV infections are in young adults aged 18-29, with a 200 percent overall increase statewide.

Read more….


Association of Sjögrens Syndrome in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis Virus Infection: A Population-Based Analysis

Note:  Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) is a well-documented extrahepatic manifestation of hepatitis C.  It also appears that men with hepatitis B infection are also at risk for SS.  Check out our HCSP Fact Sheet on SS click here and other extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C, click here, and our Extrahepatic Glossary, click here.




The association between Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) and chronic hepatitis virus infection is inconclusive. Hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are highly prevalent in Taiwan. We used a population-based case-control study to evaluate the associations between SS and HBV and HCV infections.

Materials and Methods

We identified 9,629 SS patients without other concomitant autoimmune diseases and 38,516 sex- and age-matched controls without SS from the Taiwan National Health Insurance claims data between 2000 and 2011. We utilized multivariate logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of the associations between SS and HBV and HCV infections. Sex- and age-specific (<55 and ≥55 years) risks of SS were evaluated.


The risk of SS was higher in patients with HCV than in those without chronic viral hepatitis (OR = 2.49, 95% CI = 2.16–2.86). Conversely, HBV infection was not associated with SS (OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.98–1.24). Younger HCV patients were at a higher risk for SS (<55 years: OR = 3.37, 95% CI = 2.62–4.35; ≥55 years: OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.84–2.62). Men with HCV were at a greater risk for SS (women: OR = 2.26, 95% CI = 1.94–2.63; men: OR = 4.22, 95% CI = 2.90–6.16). Only men with chronic HBV exhibited a higher risk of SS (OR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.21–2.14).


HCV infection was associated with SS; however, HBV only associated with SS in men.

The study is open access, click here