Incarcerated persons comprise about 0·4% of the Croatian population, of whom 25–30% misuse drugs. We attempted to determine the structure of the prison population, prevalence of HBV, HCV, HIV markers, co-infections with HBV, HCV and HIV and acute HBV, HCV and HIV infection. In total, 25·9% of prisoners were positive for some markers for viral hepatitis (HBV 11·3%, HCV 8·3%, HBV/HCV 6·3%). Prevalence of HBV infection in intravenous drug users (IDUs) was 26·2% (highly promiscuous group 20·4%, individuals with psychiatric diseases and personality disorders 16·0%). HCV infection in IDUs was 52·0% and 4·9% in the highly promiscuous group. HBV/HCV co-infection was registered in 34·9% of prisoners positive for HBV markers (203/582). Acute HBV infection was detected in 0·5%, and HCV in 1·2%. Only 0·15% (5/3348) of prisoners were anti-HIV positive. It appears that individuals with psychiatric diseases and personality disorders could be an additional risk population for these viral infections.
(Accepted February 01 2010)
(Online publication March 05 2010)