BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hepatitis C virus antiviral treatment is effective for individual patients but few active injecting drug users are treated. We considered the utility of antiviral treatment for primary prevention of hepatitis C.
METHODS: A hepatitis C transmission model among injecting drug users was developed, incorporating treatment (62.5% average sustained viral response) with no retreatment after initial treatment failure, potential re-infection for those cured, equal genotype setting (genotype 1:genotype 2/3), and no immunity. In addition, we examined scenarios with varied treatment response rates, immunity, or retreatment of treatment failures.
RESULTS: In the baseline scenario, annually treating 10 infections per 1000 injecting drug users results in a relative decrease in hepatitis C prevalence over 10 years of 31%, 13%, or 7% for baseline (untreated endemic chronic infection) prevalences of 20%, 40%, or 60%, respectively. Sensitivity analyses show that including the potential for immunity has minimal effect on the predictions; prevalence reductions remain even if SVR is assumed to be 25% lower among active IDU than current evidence suggests; retreatment of treatment failures does not alter the short-term (<5 years) projections, but does increase treatment gains within 20 years; hepatitis C free life years gained from treating active injecting drug users are projected to be higher than from treating non-injecting drug users for prevalences below 60%.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the possibility of re-infection, modest rates of hepatitis C treatment among active injecting drug users could effectively reduce transmission. Evaluating and extending strategies to treat hepatitis C among active injectors are warranted.
|Translated title of the contribution||Can antiviral therapy for hepatitis C reduce the prevalence of HCV among injecting drug user populations? A modeling analysis of its prevention utility|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Hepatology|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2011|
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2010 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Antiviral Agents
- Hepatitis C
- Models, Biological
- Substance Abuse, Intravenous
- Time Factors