The Seroprevalence of COVID-19 in Intravenous Drug Users in Comparison to Non-drug Users

Zahra Mohammadi, Sareh Eghtesad, Seyed Mohammad Hashemi-Shahri, Seyed Mehdi Tabatabaei, Maryam Sharafkhah, Hossein Poustchi



COVID-19 infection has led to a worldwide pandemic, and new cases are on the rise. Intravenous drug users (IVDU) are presumably at a higher risk of being infected since they have poor personal hygiene, live in groups, and have risky behaviors. The current study aimed to evaluate the seroprevalence of COVID-19 in IVDU in comparison with non-drug users (N-DU).  


This cross-sectional study was conducted on 167 IVDU and 134 N-DU. A questionnaire gathering data on demographics, comorbidities, and use of personal protective equipment was administered to all participants. In addition, 5 cc of blood was taken from each individual to test for SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies (Pishtaz Teb SARS-Cov-2 ELISA kits). 


The mean age of N-DU and IVDU were 38.9±12.9 and 40.38±10.24 years, respectively. COVID-19 seroprevalence in IVDU was 9.7%, and 4.8% in N-DU, but this finding was not statistically significant (p=0.096).


While the seroprevalence of COVID-19 was not significantly different among the two groups, IVDU should still be considered by policymakers as a high-risk group due to their lifestyle and risky behaviors. Providing personal protective equipment and other means of protection and treatment to this population can help mitigate the spread of and mortality from COVID-19.


Seroprevalence, COVID-19, IV drug users

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