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Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;57 Suppl 2:S70-4. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit265.

Enhancing assessment and treatment of hepatitis C in the custodial setting.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Australia.


Acute and chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infections are prevalent in custodial settings worldwide, yet provision of antiviral therapies is uncommon. This disparity between the burden of disease and hepatitis service delivery reflects the marginalized patient population, which features high rates of injection drug use and poor mental health. In addition, the prison environment is intended for deprivation of liberty and not healthcare. Screening for HCV infections is provided in most jurisdictions, but uptake rates remain low. Assessment and treatment of inmates is often provided only by community-based services. Despite these challenges, assessment and treatment of inmates with chronic HCV via prison-based services has been shown to be feasible and effective. These services offer the potential to substantively increase HCV treatment uptake and reduce the burden of disease for the community at large. Improvements in the efficacy of HCV therapies via direct-acting antivirals, which also offer reduced treatment duration and decreased toxicities, mean that prison health services will be well placed for the treatment of large numbers of people with HCV who do not access health services in the community.


antiviral treatment; correctional centers; health assessment; health infrastructure; hepatitis C

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