Knowledge and attitudes about treatment for hepatitis C virus infection and barriers to treatment among current injection drug users in Australia

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Abstract
Despite recent improvements in outcomes of treatment for infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV), very few current injection drug users (IDUs) have access to treatment programs. We examined the natural history of and treatment knowledge about HCV infection and barriers and willingness to seek treatment for HCV infection. A convenience sample of current IDUs (n =100) with self-reported HCV-positive status drawn from a primary health facility and methadone clinic in inner Sydney completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Participants had a reasonable knowledge of the natural history of HCV infection but poorer knowledge of treatment for HCV infection. Most believed that being a current IDU was an exclusion criterion for treatment. Despite this, 70%-80% of IDUs reported that they would consider treatment under current scenarios in Australia: requirement for liver biopsy, subcutaneous injections, common adverse effects, and 40% efficacy. Study participants at the methadone clinic had higher levels of consideration of treatment. These findings support the development of specific education programs regarding treatment for HCV infection for current IDUs.
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Doab, Anna
Treloar, Carla
Dore, Gregory
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Publication Year
2005
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Journal Article
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