Reinfection Rate (RR) in People Who Inject Drugs (PWIDs) After Successful HCV Treatment. Data From an Expertized Hepatology Clinic in Northern Greece (Thessaloniki)

Author: Effrosyni Tsirogianni Polina Agorastou Savvoula Savvidou Theodora Oiknomou Ioanna Papagiouvani Aikaterini Parisaki Ioannis Goulis

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2022

The introduction of direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) has revolutionized the treatment of
hepatitis C in PWIDs with finite, highly effective, well-tolerated therapy. Maintenance of
successful treatment in long-term follow-up is equally important. This study was undertaken
to investigate HCV reinfection (Reinfection Rate, RR) in PWIDs after successful treatment with
DAAs in an expertized Ηepatology clinic in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The study included PWIDs who successfully completed antiHCV treatment with DAAs
achieving Sustain Virological Response (SVR12), during the period from January 2017 to June
2021 and who were subsequently retested at least 3 months after achieving SVR12.
392 PWIDs completed HCV therapy. 295/392 (75.26%) were tested for SVR12. SVR12 was
achieved by 281/295 (95.25%). Re-testing after achieving SVR12 was performed in 91/281
(32.38%) patients, men (86.81%), mean age 46.94 years. Re-examination was either voluntary
or after a scheduled appointment. More than half of them reported relapsing into intravenous
drug use (self-report). 16/91 (17.58%), men 14/16 (87.5%), mean age 44.63 years were reinfected. Median follow-up time after achieving SVR12 was 1.08 years. Reinfection rate was
13.4/100 person-years. All those re-infected reported relapsing into intravenous drug use.
In this study although a large number of PWIDs completed HCV treatment with high rates of
SVR12, a relatively small number of them were re-tested (approximately 1/3 of them). The
rate of re-infection was relatively low, and was exclusively for PWIDs who exhibited dangerous
drug use behaviors. Nevertheless, efforts should be made to screen PWIDS, especially those
with persistent risk behaviors after HCV treatment, so that re-infection is detected in time.
Disclosure of Interest Statement
Nothing to disclose.

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