Journal Article

Knowledge and Attitudes about Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Barriers to Treatment among Current Injection Drug Users in Australia

Anna Doab, Carla Treloar and Gregory J. Dore

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue Supplement_5, pages S313-S320
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427446
Knowledge and Attitudes about Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Barriers to Treatment among Current Injection Drug Users in Australia

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Despite recent improvements in outcomes of treatment for infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV), very few current injection drug users (IDUs) have access to treatment programs. We examined the natural history of and treatment knowledge about HCV infection and barriers and willingness to seek treatment for HCV infection. A convenience sample of current IDUs (n = 100) with self-reported HCV-positive status drawn from a primary health facility and methadone clinic in inner Sydney completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Participants had a reasonable knowledge of the natural history of HCV infection but poorer knowledge of treatment for HCV infection. Most believed that being a current IDU was an exclusion criterion for treatment. Despite this, 70%–80% of IDUs reported that they would consider treatment under current scenarios in Australia: requirement for liver biopsy, subcutaneous injections, common adverse effects, and 40% efficacy. Study participants at the methadone clinic had higher levels of consideration of treatment. These findings support the development of specific education programs regarding treatment for HCV infection for current IDUs.

Journal Article.  3713 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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