Hepatitis C Elimination Program in Penitentiary Establishments in Central Greece

Author: Ioannis Xynotroulas Apostolia Vogiatzi Athanasia Tsalafouta Alexandra Founta Georgia Tsiaka

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2022

Background and Aims
Prisons are critical areas for elimination of hepatitis C due to the high burden of the
disease. Prisoner populations are characterized by high rates of exposure to blood-borne
viral infections such as HCV. The prevalence of HCV antibodies in Greek prisons is high, with
one in fifteen inmates chronically infected. The aim of the study is to evaluate the
effectiveness and safety of DAAs treatment in special population with chronic hepatitis
C(CHC) in prison of Domokos in Central Greece.
Hepatitis C was initially screened and evaluated before treatment. At the first visit, 504
prisoners were tested with a rapid test for hepatitis C antibodies: anti-HCV (+): 52/504
(10.31%) At the second visit 25 of 52 (48%) prisoners were tested with phlebotomy for HCVRNA and genotype.
18 of 25 (72%) had HCV-RNA and genotype positive. Treatment with DAAs received 12
prisoners for 12 weeks. Characteristics of patients HCV-RNA (+) n=18
o Average age: 40 (range 23 – 63) years
o Greek origin: 69.3%
o Average sentence: 14.8 years
o Duration of current imprisonment: 2.5 years
o Average number of prisons: 4
o Total length of imprisonment so far: 10.5 years
o Imprisonment for drug offenses:
o current imprisonment: 25%
o in total: 55.1%
Sustained virological response was achieved in 100% of those who received DAAs(12/12).
Screening and treatment of special groups population is essential for public health. All
penitentiaries have to do test for antibodies (anti-HCV) in all of them detainees and in case
of a positive result to followed by HCV RNA. The treatment with DAA’s is too important and
should be considered in all patients with chronic HCV infection. Without treating HCV in
penitentiaries, eradication targets cannot to be achieved.
Future efforts should focus on building an accurate knowledge base and implementing
education, policies and procedures for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis C in
penitentiary populations.
Disclosure on interest: None

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