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Change in treatment paradigm in people who previously injected drugs with chronic hepatitis C in the era of direct-acting antiviral therapy.

Wong, Grace Lai-Hung; Chan, Henry Lik-Yuen; Loo, Ching-Kong; Hui, Yee-Tak; Fung, James Yue-Yan; Cheung, David; Chung, Cedric; Chim, Angel Mei-Ling; Wong, Vincent Wai-Sun.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol; 34(9): 1641-1647, 2019 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30707777


Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly prevalent among people who inject drugs but is often undiagnosed. The treatment paradigm for HCV patients has been changing since the availability of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment. We aimed to evaluate the change in treatment paradigm of people who previously injected drugs (ex-PWID) in Hong Kong before and after the availability of DAA.


Consecutive ex-PWID referred from various nongovernmental organizations attended education talks at rehabilitation centers and received point-of-care rapid test for HCV antibody (anti-HCV) at the same session. Subjects tested positive for anti-HCV were invited to undergo further assessment. Afterwards, the patients were referred to the regional hospitals for follow-up and/or treatment.


Three hundred sixty-five ex-PWID received HCV rapid test; 268 (73.4%) were found to be anti-HCV positive. Among these 268 HCV-positive ex-PWID, 234 (87.3%) attended the assessment session (mean age 52 years, 90.2% male, 45.5% genotype 1b, 41.1% genotype 6a, and median liver stiffness 5.9 kPa); 187 (69.8%) attended follow-up visits at regional hospitals. Seventy-one patients received antiviral treatment for HCV; 69 first received peginterferon and ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV), whereas 10 patients (eight PegIFN/RBV-treated patients) received DAA treatment. Fifty-two patients achieved sustained virologic response at 12 or 24 weeks. Treatment uptake rates of PegIFN/RBV and DAA treatment in the pre-DAA versus post-DAA era were 22.3% versus 48.5% and 0% versus 15.6%, respectively.


Targeted screening in ex-PWID is effective in identifying patients with HCV infection in the community. To improve treatment uptake, further improvements in the referral system and treatment regimens are needed.
Selo DaSilva