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Factors associated with specialist assessment and treatment for hepatitis C virus infection in New South Wales, Australia

Authors


Jason Grebely, PhD, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Level 2, 376 Victoria Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.
E-mail: jgrebely@nchecr.unsw.edu.au

Abstract

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.

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