Prevalence of HCV Infection in Vulnerable Populations: DETECT-C Program a Real Contribution to Hepatitis C Elimination in These Groups in Spain

Author: Francisco Pacual Marta Pastor Federico García Juan Jesús Ruiz José Manuel Fernández- Fernández Marinela Mendez Magdalena Rueda Cristina De Alvaro Benjamín Climent Benjamín

Theme: Models of Care Year: 2022

To meet the objectives set by the WHO for the elimination of hepatitis C in 2030, it is necessary to
address vulnerable groups. Our aim was help facilitating the screening of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in
the Point of Care (PoC) of vulnerable populations and the referral of HCV positive patients.
Description of model of care/intervention:
In November 2019, SOCIDROGALCOHOL Scientific Society launched the “DETECT-C” program
facilitating HCV PoC testing and referrals at addiction centers and other settings, such as shelters,
mental health, immigrant or social insertion centers, among others. The provided test rapid were
rapid oral fluid test (Oraquick) and dry blood devices. In addition, a pilot GeneXpert for RNA
screening at a harm reduction center was also implemented. In early 2022, a Centralized Laboratory
of Reference to analyse viremia in DBS devices was also included.
102 centers participated. Of 38 centers that submitted reports, 1,589 Oraquick tests were
performed, of which 164 were positive, indicating a prevalence of HCV antibodies of 10.4%. Which is
12 times higher than the prevalence reported in the general population (0.85%) at the 2nd
Seroprevalence Survey in Spain. 93% of patients anti-HCV positive test were referred to primary or
specialized care. In the case of dried blood devices, RNA prevalence was 42% (21/50), all HCVpositive individuals were referred to specialized care. GeneXpert and Reference laboratory data will
be analyzed and presented.
Conclusion and next steps:
The prevalence found in vulnerable groups is higher than in the general population, therefore, it is
important to continue promoting and facilitating PoC HCV testing and linkage to care for all positive
patients. It was evident the need to have a reference laboratory for viremia diagnosis in DBS cards
together with a reference hospital specialist to ensure direct referral of patient for disease
Disclosure of Interest Statement:
This work was funded by Gilead Sciences Spain. Medical Affairs Gilead employees: MM, MR and CdA.

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