Abstract # THU-238 Feasibility and acceptability of a group medical visit intervention to improve hepatitis C virus treatment uptake among persons who inject drugs (PWID) in a primary care setting—B. Norton et al. by Matthew Zielske
Study Aims and Results: This study focuses on an inventive intervention called, HCV Group Evaluation and Treatment Uptake (HCV GET-UP).
In this study patients were recruited from a primary care clinic in the Bronx, NY. Group visits with a physician took place over the course of four weeks. During the group visits, hep C related health care evaluations, education support and skill building took place. The likelihood of this study being successful was assessed through recruitment, retention rates and acceptability by means of a short post group survey which was laid out as a 5-point Likert scale (not helpful to very helpful).
Phone contact was made with 27 (67.5%) of the 40 people initially eligible. There were 13 (48.1%) people of those 27 who agreed to be screened with seven deciding to enroll. The demographic breakdown is as follows; most were male, all were African American or Latino and their median age was 55. Almost all of them were being treated for opioids and three of them were actively using drugs at their initial visit.
Conclusion: Of the 6 people that initially attended one group visit, 5 attended a follow up HCV treatment appointment and 4 have begun treatment. The average of the survey results was; evaluation: 5, education: 4.8, skill building: 5, group activity or support: 5
Editorial Comments: A meta-analysis review of acute HCV in people with HIV would be helpful. This will narrow down the optimal timeframe to treat. Still, the cure rates are very encouraging! Although the study is promising in its approach to engaging and retaining hepatitis C positive people who inject drugs in healthcare only 4 of the 40 antibody positive patients began treatment. Of the 7 who enrolled this is a great result but more needs to be done to increase the number of those who willingly begin the process. The fact that three people who were actively using drugs were included is also very promising and shows the healthcare model can and is willing to change.
Editorial Comments: This abstract that provides information about lowering the incidence of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in Athens, Greece.
Article: Treatment and primary prevention in people who inject drugs for chronic hepatitis C infection: is elimination possible in a high-prevalence setting?—I Gountas et al.
Source: Addiction. 2017 Jan 20. doi: 10.1111/add.13764. [Epub ahead of print]
To project the impact of scaling-up oral anti-viral therapy and harm reduction on chronic hepatitis C (CHC) prevalence and incidence among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Greece, to estimate the relationship between required treatment levels and expansion of harm reduction programmes to achieve specific targets and to examine whether hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination among PWID is possible in this high-prevalence setting.
A dynamic discrete time, stochastic individual-based model was developed to simulate HCV transmission among PWID incorporating the effect of HCV treatment and harm reduction strategies, and allowing for re-infection following treatment.
The population of 8300 PWID in Athens Metropolitan area.
Reduction in HCV prevalence and incidence in 2030 compared with 2016.
Moderate expansion of HCV treatment (treating 4-8% of PWID/year), with a simultaneous increase of 2%/year in harm reduction coverage (from 44 to 72% coverage over 15 years), was projected to reduce CHC prevalence among PWID in Athens by 46.2-94.8% in 2030, compared with 2016. CHC prevalence would reduce to below 10% within the next 4-5 years if annual HCV treatment numbers were increased up to 16-20% PWID/year. The effect of harm reduction on incidence was more pronounced under lower treatment rates.
Based on theoretical model projections, scaled-up hepatitis C virus treatment and harm reduction interventions could achieve major reductions in hepatitis C virus incidence and prevalence among people who inject drugs in Athens, Greece by 2030. Chronic hepatitis C could be eliminated in the next 4-5 years by increasing treatment to more than 16% of people who inject drugs per year combined with moderate increases in harm reduction coverage.
© 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.