HepCheck: Characteristics of the patient population with active infection as defined by HCV RNA

Gordana Avramovic, Cristiana Oprea, Julian Surey, Alistair Story, Juan Macías, Walter Cullen, Maria Iglesias, Irina Ianache, Stefan Lazar, Ionut Popa, Dee Menezes, John S. Lambert
2019 International Journal of Infectious Diseases  
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a main cause of chronic liver disease worldwide and is consistently under-diagnosed. Community-based screening initiatives, such as HepCheck, have been identified as important components of HCV care. HepCheck focuses on screening and identifying HCV RNA-positive cases in high-risk populations and linking them to care as part of a larger European project to improve HCV care (HepCare). HCV testing with a self-administered questionnaire was offered to 2822 individuals.
more » ... ere were 2079 patients screened. Overall, 397 (19%) of the total screened cohort were identified as having active HCV infections as measured by HCV RNA PCR. The patients were mostly male (84%), white (88%), and had a history of injecting drug use (IDU) (86%), homelessness (58%), and tattooing (42%). There were 136 new cases (7% of the total sample and 34% of identified active infections). Romania had the highest proportion of newly identified cases with 87%, then Ireland with 60%, and Spain with 43%; the UK had the lowest proportion of new cases at 10%. For those lost to follow-up, a major strategy is re-engagement. For those newly diagnosed, the 'seek and treat' approach is a key strategy. Thus, different priorities are defined for different countries.
doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2019.11.027 pmid:31785401 fatcat:wftimflwh5hxjdexsamyyqrwum