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Subst Abus. 2018 Oct 2:1-8. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2018.1485128. [Epub ahead of print]

Hepatitis C cascade of care among people who inject drugs in Vancouver, Canada.

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a Department of Medicine , University of British Columbia , Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada.
b British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital , Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada.
c School of Public Policy , Simon Fraser University , Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada.
d Faculty of Health Sciences , Simon Fraser University , Burnaby , British Columbia , Canada.



People who inject drugs (PWID) have high rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Little is known about the rates of diagnosis and treatment for HCV among PWID. Therefore, this study aims to characterize the cascade of care in Vancouver, Canada, to improve HCV treatment access and delivery for PWID.


Data were derived from 3 prospective cohort studies of PWID in Vancouver, Canada, between December 2005 and May 2015. The progression of participants was identified through 5 steps in the cascade of care: (1) chronic HCV; (2) linkage to HCV care; (3) liver disease assessment; (4) initiation of treatment; and (5) completion of treatment. Predictors of undergoing liver disease assessment for HCV treatment were identified using a multivariable extended Cox regression model.


Among 1571 participants with chronic HCV, 1359 (86.5%) had ever been linked to care, 1257 (80.0%) had undergone liver disease assessment, 163 (10.4%) had ever started HCV treatment, and 71 (4.5%) had ever completed treatment. In multivariable analyses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity, use of methadone maintenance therapy, and hospitalization in the past 6 months were independently and positively associated with undergoing liver disease assessment (all P < .001), whereas daily heroin injection was independently and negatively associated with undergoing liver disease assessment (P < .001).


Among this cohort of PWID, few had been started on or completed treatment for HCV. These findings highlight the need to improve the prescribing of HCV treatment among PWID with active substance use.


Cascade of care; harm reduction; hepatitis C; injection drug use; treatment

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