OBJECTIVES: To examine HCV prevalence and management among people who inject drugs (PWID) attending primary care and community-based health services at four European sites using baseline data from a multicentre feasibility study of a complex intervention (HepLink).
METHODS: Primary care and community-based health services in Dublin, London, Bucharest and Seville were recruited from the professional networks of the HepLink consortium. Patients were eligible to participate if aged ≥18 years, on opioid substitution treatment or at risk of HCV (i.e. injecting drug use, homeless or incarcerated), and attended the service. Data on patient demographics and prior HCV management were collected on participants at baseline.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine primary care and community-based health services and 530 patients were recruited. Baseline data were collected on all participants. Participants' mean age ranged from 35 (Bucharest) to 51 years (London), with 71%-89% male. Prior lifetime HCV antibody testing ranged from 65% (Bucharest) to 95% (Dublin) and HCV antibody positivity among those who had been tested ranged from 78% (Dublin) to 95% (Bucharest). Prior lifetime HCV RNA testing among HCV antibody-positive participants ranged from 17% (Bucharest) to 84% (London). Among HCV antibody- or RNA-positive participants, prior lifetime attendance at a hepatology/infectious disease service ranged from 6% (London) to 50% (Dublin) and prior lifetime HCV treatment initiation from 3% (London) to 33% (Seville).
CONCLUSIONS: Baseline assessment of the HCV cascade of care among PWID attending primary care and community-based health services at four European sites identified key aspects of the care cascade at each site that need to be improved.
Bibliographical noteThe acceptance date for this record is provisional and based upon the month of publication for the article.
- Bristol Population Health Science Institute
- hepatitis c
- hepatitis c rna
- communicable diseases
- community health services
- homeless persons
- primary health care
- drug usage
- hepatitis c virus