Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2018
HCV testing is an important first step for both treatment and prevention, especially for
People Who Inject drugs (PWIDs) who are highly vulnerable to HCV infection. In settings
where Direct Acting Antiretroviral are becoming more available, limited information exist
about who and where to target in order to increase uptake of HCV testing among PWIDs.
From February 2016 to April 2017, peer educators of VNPUD outreached and recruited
PWIDs in Hanoi for a free HCV testing and referral-to-treatment program. A sample of 509
PWIDs completed HCV and HIV quick tests (regardless of reported testing status),
quantitative HCV RNA and a questionnaire on HCV-related knowledge and risk behaviors.
Multivariate logistic regression identifies factors associated with having ever tested for HCV
before enrollment in the program.
In this sample, 32.2% reported ever tested for HCV and yet 61.7% were infected (22.6%
mono-infected and 39.1% HCV/HIV co-infected). Most common sources of testing are public
hospitals and general clinics (68.7%), followed by HIV clinics (18.9%). In multivariate
analyses, having ever tested for HCV was positively associated with ages of 30-40
(aOR=2.76; 95%CI 1.06-7.17), using health services within past 12 months (aOR=2.44;
95%CI 1.20-4.98), currently in MMT (aOR=2.25;95%CI 1.30-3.91) or ART care (aOR=2.01;
95%CI 1.13-3.58) and higher HCV knowledge score (aOR=1.11;95%CI 1.01-1.23). Those
who ever delayed seeking health care for any reasons were less likely to have been tested
(aOR=0.51; 95%CI 0.33-0.8).
HCV testing is low among PWIDs in Hanoi despite a very high prevalence of HCV infection.
Our program scaled up HCV awareness raising in outreach and mobile testing to reach
hidden PWIDs, especially younger people. Interventions to enhance integration of testing
and treatment in regular and specialized services, such as MMT and HIV clinics, is much
Disclosure of Interest Statement:
The authors declare no conflict of interests.