Hepatitis C among vulnerable populations: A seroprevalence study of homeless, people who inject drugs and prisoners in London

Aisyah, DN, Shallcross, L, Hayward, A, Aldridge, RW, Hemming, S, Yates, S, Ferenando, G, Possas, L, Garber, E, Watson, JM
et al (show 4 more authors) (2018) Hepatitis C among vulnerable populations: A seroprevalence study of homeless, people who inject drugs and prisoners in London. JOURNAL OF VIRAL HEPATITIS, 25 (11). pp. 1260-1269.

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Injecting drugs substantially increases the risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and is common in the homeless and prisoners. Capturing accurate data on disease prevalence within these groups is challenging but is essential to inform strategies to reduce HCV transmission. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of HCV in these populations. We conducted a cross-sectional study between May 2011 and June 2013 in London and, using convenience sampling, recruited participants from hostels for the homeless, drug treatment services and a prison. A questionnaire was administered and blood samples were tested for hepatitis C. We recruited 491 individuals who were homeless (40.7%), 205 drug users (17%) and 511 prisoners (42.3%). Eight per cent of patients (98/1207, 95% CI: 6.7%-9.8%) had active HCV infection and 3% (38/1207, 95% CI: 2.3%-4.3%) past HCV infection. Overall, one quarter (51/205) of people recruited in drug treatment services, 13% (65/491) of people from homeless residential sites and 4% (20/511) prisoners in this study were anti-HCV positive. Seventy-seven of the 136 (56.6%, 95% CI: 47.9%-65%) of HCV infected participants identified had a history of all three risk factors (homelessness, imprisonment and drug use), 27.3% (95% CI: 20.1%-35.6%) had 2 overlapping risk factors, and 15.4% (95% CI: 10.6%-23.7%) one risk factor. Drug treatment services, prisons and homelessness services provide good opportunities for identifying hepatitis C-infected individuals. Effective models need to be developed to ensure case identification in these settings that can lead to an effective treatment and an efficient HCV prevention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: drug users, hepatitis C, homeless, prisoner, vulnerable
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 10:46
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:08
DOI: 10.1111/jvh.12936
Open Access URL: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050064/1/A...
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3071010