HCV prevalence and treatment outcomes among drug users in an outpatient center for drug addiction in Northern Italy

HCV prevalence and treatment outcomes in drug users

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Abstract

Introduction. We aimed at evaluating hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence and treatment referral outcomes in a large population of drug users in Northern Italy.
Material and methods. Each participant underwent a quick capillary blood test. Positive participants underwent HCV RNA quantification. HCV RNA positive subjects were referred to treatment and evaluated immediately at the end of treatment and at 3 and 6 months after treatment.
Results. Of the 636 participants tested, 244 were positive. Intravenous drug use was more frequent among subjects who tested positive for HCV antibodies (99%). Among subjects who tested positive, 68% were HCV-RNA positive while 32% were negative.
Among people referred to treatment, nearly 30% did not show up while 70% completed the treatment with success. Over 99% of people who started direct-acting antiviral agent (DAA) have a sustained response.
Discussion. We observed a significant higher prevalence of HCV positive subjects  among people who inject drugs (99%) and we observed a high success rate for HCV treatment engagement.
Conclusions. Rapid testing for HCV represents a potential tool for HCV screening among high-risk groups

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Authors

Assunta Lanza

Miriam Olivola

Gianluca Peschi

Natascia Brondino - University of Pavia

Pierluigi Politi

How to Cite
Lanza, A., Olivola, M., Peschi, G., Brondino, N., & Politi, P. (2023). HCV prevalence and treatment outcomes among drug users in an outpatient center for drug addiction in Northern Italy: HCV prevalence and treatment outcomes in drug users. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 59(2), 108–113. https://doi.org/10.4415/ANN_23_02_03
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