Can Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment as Prevention Reverse the HCV Epidemic Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in the United Kingdom? Epidemiological and Modeling Insights

Natasha K Martin, Alicia Thornton, Matthew Hickman, Caroline Sabin, Mark Nelson, Graham S Cooke, Thomas C S Martin, Valerie Delpech, Murad Ruf, Huw Price, Yusef Azad, Emma C Thomson, Peter Vickerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background. We report on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United Kingdom and model its trajectory with or without scaled-up HCV direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).

Methods. A dynamic HCV transmission model among HIV-diagnosed MSM in the United Kingdom was calibrated to HCV prevalence (antibody [Ab] or RNA positive), incidence, and treatment from 2004 to 2011 among HIV-diagnosed MSM in the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort (UK CHIC). The epidemic was projected with current or scaled-up HCV treatment, with or without a 20% behavioral risk reduction.

Results. HCV prevalence among HIV-positive MSM in UK CHIC increased from 7.3% in 2004 to 9.9% in 2011, whereas primary incidence was flat (1.02-1.38 per 100 person-years). Over the next decade, modeling suggests 94% of infections are attributable to high-risk individuals, comprising 7% of the population. Without treatment, HCV chronic prevalence could have been 38% higher in 2015 (11.9% vs 8.6%). With current treatment and sustained virological response rates (status quo), chronic prevalence is likely to increase to 11% by 2025, but stabilize with DAA introduction in 2015. With DAA scale-up to 80% within 1 year of diagnosis (regardless of disease stage), and 20% per year thereafter, chronic prevalence could decline by 71% (to 3.2%) compared to status quo in 2025. With additional behavioral interventions, chronic prevalence could decline further to <2.5% by 2025.

Conclusions. Epidemiological data and modeling suggest a continuing HCV epidemic among HIV-diagnosed MSM in the United Kingdom driven by high-risk individuals, despite high treatment rates. Substantial reductions in HCV transmission could be achieved through scale-up of DAAs and moderately effective behavioral interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1072-1080
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume62
Issue number9
Early online date16 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • hepatitis C virus
  • HIV
  • men who have sex with men
  • antiviral treatment
  • prevention

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