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Associating conditional cash transfer to universal access to treatment could be the solution to the HCV epidemic among drug users (DUs).

Chossegros, Philippe; Di Nino, Fiorant.
Harm Reduct J; 15(1): 63, 2018 12 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Dez 2018 | ID: mdl-30541570
Resumo: BACKGROUND: To understand the limits of HCV screening programs to reach all drug users (DUs). METHOD: The association of the recruitment of a representative sample of a population of DUs in a specific area with the use of a questionnaire that included 250 items allowed the use of uni- and multifactorial analysis to explore the relationship between HCV screening and dimensions until now restricted to qualitative studies. RESULTS: We recruited, in less than 2 months, 327 DUs representing about 6% of the total population of DUs. They belonged to a single community whose drug use was the only common characteristic. While almost all DUs (92.6%) who had access to care providers had been screened, this proportion was much lower in out-of-care settings (64%). HCV prevalence among those who had performed a test was low (22.8%). For DUs, the life experience of hepatitis C has not changed in the last 10 years. Screening, studied for the first time according to this life experience, was not influenced by a rational knowledge of the risk taken or the knowledge of treatment efficacy, showing a gap between DUs' representations and medical recommendations which explains the low level of active screening. Police crackdown on injections, disrupting the previous illusion of safe practices, was the only prior history leading to active screenings. Screenings were related to an access to care providers. GPs held a preponderant position as a source of information and care by being able to give appropriate answers regarding hepatitis C and prescribing opioid substitution treatments (OST). If 48 % of DUs screened positive for HCV had been treated, half of them had been prescribed before 2006. CONCLUSION: While hepatitis has become a major issue for society and, consequently, for services for DUs (SDUs) and GPs, it is not the case for DUs. A widespread screening, even in a city where the offer of care is diversified and free, seems unlikely to reach a universal HCV screening over a short time. The model of respondent-driven sampling recruitment could be a new approach to conditional cash transfer, recruiting and treating DUs who remain outside the reach of care providers, a prerequisite for the universal access to HCV treatments to impact the HCV epidemic.