People who inject drugs and are enrolled in a drug treatment program are receptive to learning about the hepatitis C virus and being treated for it, according to a study published last week.

“One of the most important findings of this work is that people who inject drugs do want to be educated about the disease and that education is associated with willingness to be treated,” said Dr. Andrew H. Talal, a University at Buffalo professor of medicine and the study’s senior author.

The study, published online in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, noted that injection drug use is a primary mode of infection and, as such, addiction treatment significantly enhances the ability of drug users to complete treatment for the virus.

“These new findings support the premise that addiction-treatment facilities can help provide sustained hepatitis C virus treatment for this population,” Talal said in a UB release. “These facilities have the added advantage of being able to link hepatis C virus care to drug treatment, allowing for closer patient evaluation, which will likely lead to improved adherence to treatment regimens.”

The study was based on a survey of 320 patients enrolled in a New York City-based methadone treatment program.

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