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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2012 Jan-Feb;23(1):16-29. doi: 10.1016/j.jana.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Apr 15.

Assessing candidacy for acute hepatitis C treatment among active young injection drug users: a case-series report.

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UFO Study, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.


Treatment for acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has significantly better outcomes than treatment for chronic infection. The short window of the acute period poses challenges for young injection drug users (IDU), who are at highest risk of HCV infection, to demonstrate treatment candidacy. We recruited patients with acute HCV from a prospective cohort study to examine clinical and behavioral issues related to treatment candidacy. We report on outcomes and how nursing case management affected candidacy. All five acutely-infected participants reported daily drug use at baseline. All established primary care and decreased their drug use. None received treatment for their acute infection; one was treated within 12 months of infection. Establishing treatment candidacy for young IDU in the acute phase involves various health domains. An acute infection's short period poses many challenges to establishing candidacy, but it is a window of opportunity to engage young IDU in health care.

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