Global policy and access to new hepatitis C therapies for people who inject drugs

Joseph S. Doyle, Esther Aspinall, Sharon Hutchinson, Brendan Quinn, Charles Gore, Stefan Wiktor, Margaret E. Hellard

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People who inject drugs (PWID) are disproportionately affected by hepatitis C virus (HCV). This review outlines policy recommendations made in the 2014 World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines on Screening, Care and Treatment of HCV and their relevance to PWID. It also canvasses issues that will affect translation of these global guidelines into practice. The first global HCV guidelines released by WHO have recently advocated targeted HCV testing for PWID, assessment of liver disease and support for alcohol reduction during care. They also strongly advocate treatment using currently licensed direct-acting antiviral agents for all individuals, in particular PWID as a key affected population. New HCV treatment regimens have the potential to cure more than 90% of treated individuals. Scaling-up treatment among PWID has the potential to improve individual and population health by reducing HCV transmission, improving quality of life and supporting behaviour modifications that lead to less risk-taking over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1071
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Issue number11
Early online date1 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • hepatitis C
  • injecting drug users
  • therapy

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