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Hepatology. 2012 Oct;56(4):1252-60. doi: 10.1002/hep.25770.

Comparison of hepatitis C virus treatment between incarcerated and community patients.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53792-5124, USA.


The prevalence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among incarcerated individuals in the United States is estimated to be between 12% and 31%. HCV treatment during incarceration is an attractive option because of improved access to health care and directly observed therapy. We compared incarcerated and nonincarcerated HCV-infected patients evaluated for treatment at a single academic center between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2007. During this period, 521 nonincarcerated and 388 incarcerated patients were evaluated for HCV treatment. Three hundred and nineteen (61.2%) nonincarcerated patients and 234 (60.3%) incarcerated patients underwent treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. Incarcerated patients were more likely to be male, African-American race, and have a history of alcohol or intravenous drug use. Treated incarcerated patients were less likely to have genotype 1 virus and were less likely to have undergone previous treatment. There was a similar prevalence of coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in both groups. A sustained viral response (SVR) was achieved in 97 (42.9%) incarcerated patients, compared to 115 (38.0%) nonincarcerated patients (P = 0.304). Both groups had a similar proportion of patients that completed a full treatment course. Stepwise logistic regression was conducted, and the final model included full treatment course, non-genotype 1 virus, younger age at treatment start, and negative HIV status. Incarceration status was not a significant predictor when added to this model (P = 0.075).


In a cohort of HCV-infected patients managed in an academic medical center ambulatory clinic, incarcerated patients were as likely to be treated for HCV and as likely to achieve an SVR as nonincarcerated patients.

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