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HCV treatment is effective and may work as prevention for people who inject drugs
Liz Highleyman, 2016-09-20 07:10:00

Hepatitis C treatment for people who inject drugs is as safe and effective as it is for non-drug-users - with cure rates exceeding 90% - and treating enough of this population could reduce transmission or even bring a halt to local epidemics, according to presentations at the 5th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU 2016) this month in Oslo.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is easily transmitted through shared drug injection equipment, and current and former injection drug users have high rates of infection. But many providers and insurers have considered people who inject drugs to be poor candidates for treatment, concerned that they would not stick to their regimens.

Graham Foster of Queen Mary University of London presented a state-of-the-art lecture on treatment of HCV infection, Gregory Dore of the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales spoke on hepatitis C treatment trials for injection drug users, and Matthew Hickman of the University of Bristol spoke on HCV treatment as prevention. This was followed by a debate on whether people who inject drugs should be prioritised for hepatitis C treatment.