Viral hepatitis is an important and frequent complication of drug addiction. The discovery of the Australia antigen and its association with serum hepatitis has provided a number of specific serological tests which may be used for the diagnosis of at least a proportion of patients with hepatitis and also for the detection of carriers of the hepatitis virus. These tests might now be used to study in greater detail than has hitherto been possible the epidemiology of serum hepatitis among drug dependents, their contacts and the community at large.
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