Women are more likely to share needles or start using intravenous drugs with a sexual partner than men are. Its cultural among IDUs. Women may more often have unprotected sex with an HCV-infected man for various reasons. So getting women into care & treatment & providing education to protect future infection is crucial.
CDC Reports 213% Increase in Women of Child-Bearing Age….as a result of Heroin Epidemic….But in this Philadelphia study published 84% of Children Born to HCV+ Mother Are Not Tested….Prenatal HCV Screening particularly for at-risk women is Recommended But Not Enforced…..see below: alcohol appears to accelerate HCV progression more in women as they have lower threshold of alcohol use that accelerates liver disease progression & postmenopausal HCV+ women appears to have accelerated rates of liver disease progression showing women should be screened & treated early.
Prenatal screening for HCV is not routine…..American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends HCV screening for pregnant women who have risk factors such as a history of injection drug use (IDU) and/or HIV infection, many patients remain unidentified using risk-based testing criteria…..other countries, including Australia in 2013, to adopt universal prenatal HCV screening….all children born to HCV-infected women should be tested to rule out vertical transmission…..National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that only 4.9% of expected perinatally HCV infected children were identified in the United States….likely underestimates the true burden of perinatal HCV infections…..pediatric HCV cases in Florida revealed that less than 2% of known cases had received follow-up care.
Read more about this from NATAP: http://www.natap.org/2016/HCV/092316_03.htm
1. The number of reproductive-aged women infected with HCV doubled from 2006 to 2014.
2. HCV infection among children was more common among those aged 2 to 3 years, compared to those aged 12 to 13 years.
Overall, the results of this study shed light on the potential importance of incorporating HCV testing into pregnancy screening.