RESEARCH ARTICLE


Antiviral Treatment to Prevent Transmission of Hepatitis C in People Who Inject Drugs



Eric Dieperink*, Astrid Knott
Minneapolis Veterans Health Care System, University of Minnesota, Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Minnneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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© Dieperink and Knott; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Minnesota-Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Minneapolis VAHC One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, Minnesota, USA; Tel: 612-467-4675; E-mail: Eric.Dieperink@va.gov


Abstract

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common among people who inject drugs (PWID) and causes significant morbidity and mortality. Opiate replacement therapy and needle exchange programs have effectively prevented the transmission of the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but have been less effective for HCV. Other HCV prevention strategies are needed. Antiviral therapy with all oral direct acting antivirals is currently available and appears to be highly effective even in PWID and offers a possible strategy to further prevention efforts. This paper will review current evidence for treatment as prevention for HCV in PWID.

Keywords: Access to care, Direct acting antivirals, Injection drug use, Liver Disease, Prevention, Substance use disorder.