Recommendations for the management of hepatitis C virus infection among people who inject drugs

On behalf of the International Network for Hepatitis in Substance Users

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

In high income countries, the majority of new and existing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections occur among people who inject drugs (PWID). In many low and middle income countries large HCV epidemics have also emerged among PWID populations. The burden of HCV-related liver disease among PWID is increasing, but treatment uptake remains extremely low. There are a number of barriers to care which should be considered and systematically addressed, but should not exclude PWID from HCV treatment. The rapid development of interferon-free direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for HCV infection has brought considerable optimism to the HCV sector, with the realistic hope that therapeutic intervention will soon provide near optimal efficacy with well-tolerated, short duration, all oral regimens. Further, it has been clearly demonstrated that HCV treatment is safe and effective across a broad range of multidisciplinary healthcare settings. Given the burden of HCV-related disease among PWID, strategies to enhance HCV assessment and treatment in this group are urgently needed. These recommendations demonstrate that treatment among PWID is feasible and provide a framework for HCV assessment and care. Further research is needed to evaluate strategies to enhance testing, linkage to care, treatment, adherence, viral cure, and prevent HCV reinfection among PWID, particularly as new interferon-free DAA treatments for HCV infection become available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1038
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • Drug users
  • Guidelines
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Injecting
  • Injection
  • PWID

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy

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