#PO24: HCV Knowledge And Awareness Among Injecting Drug Users In The Direct Acting Antivirals Era

Author: Antonio Boschini

Theme: Epidemiology and Public Health Research Year: 2021

Background: We investigated the knowledge of HCV transmission-related behaviours in PWID admitted in a therapeutic Community to understand better why HCV prevalence remains high, even in those who deny sharing syringes. Methods: From January-2018 to December-2019, trained interviewers administered a face-to-face interview to PWID at admission in San Patrignano (Italy) TC, focusing on knowledge of transmission pathway and long term effects of HCV-infection, according their HCV status knowledge (HCVAb-pos vs. HCVAb-neg/unknown). Results: 181/232 PWID (78%) adhered to the study: 75.7% males, median age 20 years (IQR: 18-25) at first drug injection and 31 years (IQR: 24-37) at TC-admission. 120 (66.3%) were heroin and cocaine injectors, 45 (24.9%) heroin only and 16 cocaine only (8.8%). HCV Ab prevalence was 50.9% in those who denied receptive sharing of syringes (106 individuals) and 80% in those who admitted it but only with intimate partner or trusty friends (75). Three persons were HIV-pos (1.7%) all of them related to sexual transmission. 82 individuals were already aware of being HCVAb-pos at TCadmission (45.3%), while among the remaining 99, 42 were previously screened resulting HCVAb-neg and 57 were never screened before. Knowledge of HCV-related diseases was statistically higher among HCVAb-pos (p

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