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Keywords:

  • antiviral therapy;
  • injecting drug use;
  • opiate substitution therapy;
  • provider;
  • treatment decisions

Summary.  Assessment and treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the community remains low. We evaluated factors associated with HCV specialist assessment and treatment in a cross-sectional study to evaluate treatment considerations in a sample of 634 participants with self-reported HCV infection in New South Wales, Australia. Participants having received HCV specialist assessment (n = 294, 46%) were more likely to be have been older (vs <35 years; 35–44 OR 1.64, P = 0.117; 45–54 OR 2.00, P = 0.024; ≥55 OR 5.43, P = 0.002), have greater social support (vs low; medium OR 3.07, P = 0.004; high OR 4.31, P < 0.001), HCV-related/attributed symptoms (vs none; 1–10 OR 3.89, P = 0.032; 10–21 OR 5.01, P = 0.010), a diagnosis of cirrhosis (OR 2.40, P = 0.030), have asked for treatment information (OR 1.91, P = 0.020), have greater HCV knowledge (OR 2.49, P = 0.001), have been told by a doctor to go onto treatment (OR 3.00, P < 0.001), and less likely to be receiving opiate substitution therapy (OR 0.10, P < 0.001) and never to have seen a general practitioner (OR 0.24, P < 0.001). Participants having received HCV treatment (n = 154, 24%) were more likely to have greater fibrosis (vs no biopsy; none/minimal OR 3.45, P = 0.001; moderate OR 11.47, P < 0.001; severe, OR 19.51, P < 0.001), greater HCV knowledge (OR 2.57; P = 0.004), know someone who has died from HCV (OR 2.57, P = 0.004), been told by a doctor to go onto treatment (OR 3.49, P < 0.001), were less likely to have been female (OR 0.39, P = 0.002), have recently injected (OR 0.42, P = 0.002) and be receiving opiate substitution therapy (OR 0.22, P < 0.001). These data identify modifiable patient-, provider- and systems-level barriers associated with HCV assessment and treatment in the community that could be addressed by targeted interventions.