Knowledge about hepatitis-C among methadone maintenance treatment patients in Israel

Rinat Cohen-Moreno, Miriam Schiff, Shabtay Levitt, Rachel Bar-Hamburger, Shiela Strauss, Yehuda Neumark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Ignorance about Hepatitis-C (HCV) among drug users, treatment staff, and policy makers thwarts treatment uptake and facilitates virus transmission. We assessed knowledge about HCV among methadone patients in Israel, where effective HCV-treatment is provided at low-cost within the national health insurance framework, yet few infected methadone patients are treated. In 2006, 512 patients in two methadone clinics in Israel were interviewed, of whom 53% were HCV-positive. The clinics were purposively selected from the 11 methadone clinics in the country. Respondents exhibited poor knowledge about HCV, particularly about diagnosis and treatment. Lesser-educated respondents were three times more likely to score low on HCV-knowledge compared to those with 12+ years of schooling (AOR = 2.97, 95 CI = 1.55.7. HCV-negative patients were also three-times more likely than HCV-positive patients to score low on the HCV-knowledge scale (Adjusted Odds Ratio = 3.0, 95% Confidence Interval = 1.94.7). Enhancing HCV-knowledge may help patients avoid becoming infected and infecting others, allay exaggerated fears about hepatitis, and facilitate HCV-treatment initiation among those infected.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)58-76
Number of pages19
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank Drs. S. Melnick and A. Basevitch of the Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Dr. G. Morali of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, and Dr. Y. Herman of the Yaffo-Yassur Methadone Center, Tel Aviv, for reviewing drafts of the questionnaire. Address correspondence to Yehuda Neumark, Ph.D., Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah, P.O. Box 12272, Jerusalem 91120 Israel. E-mail: This study was conducted as the M.P.H. thesis project of RC-M who received a scholarship from the Anti-Drug Authority of Israel for this purpose. Dr. Strauss’ contribution was supported by a grant from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, R01DA013409. Conflict of Interest: All other authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


  • Drug dependence
  • HCV
  • Hepatitis C
  • Knowledge
  • Methadone


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