Journal Article

Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Current Injection Drug Users in Australia

Gail Matthews, Ian J. Kronborg and Gregory J. Dore

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue Supplement_5, pages S325-S329
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/427448
Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection among Current Injection Drug Users in Australia

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An estimated 210,000 people were living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Australia at the end of 2001, and the number of people developing cirrhosis was projected to increase 4-fold by 2020. Eighty percent of prevalent and 90% of incident HCV infections are related to injection drug use. Current injection drug use was an exclusion criterion for access to government-funded treatment for HCV infection until May 2001. Despite the removal of this barrier to treatment access for current injection drug users (IDUs), the number of IDUs receiving treatment remains extremely low. Treatment outcomes among IDUs with chronic HCV infection treated at 2 public hospital—based hepatitis clinics are presented. These data demonstrate that IDUs who continue to inject infrequently during treatment for HCV infection can achieve a sustained virological response. Further studies are under way to examine outcomes of treatment for HCV among clients undergoing treatment for drug dependency who have chronic HCV infection and among current IDUs with acute and newly acquired HCV infection.

Journal Article.  3145 words.  Illustrated.

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

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