Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2019
Background: Intravenous drug use is a major means of transmission of viral hepatitis and
HIV. The purpose of this study is to investigate the compliance to therapy and follow up of
intravenous drug users (IVDU) with chronic Active Hepatitis C being followed in the
Hepatology Unit in a University hospital in Greece.
Methods: We studied retrospectively 228 IV drug users (IVDU) with chronic Active Hepatitis
C or co-infection with HIV and/or HBV followed in Hepatology Unit of a University Hospital in
Athens, Greece from 2007 till 2018. Data were recorded from the first encounter of the
patient with the facility until the end of 2018 concerning the percentage of lost to follow up
IVDU, as well as the percentage of patients who received and completed treatment.
Results: From 228 patients studied 82% were men. 81% of patients had chronic Hepatitis C,
16% co-infection with HIV and 3% with HBV. Only 9.8% had been diagnosed with stage F4
fibrosis. 62.9% had discontinued the iv drug use. 66.6% were lost to follow up. Treatment for
Hepatitis C received 29.5% of the IVDU studied. The majority of IVDU under treatment
received PEG/RBV (55.5%), while 44.5% received DAAs. From the IVDU who received
treatment, 82.5% completed treatment and 100% of patients who received DAAs. All
patients treated with DAAs achieved SVR.
Conclusions: The results from this study of IVDU conducted during 2007-2018 in a
Hepatology Unit in Athens, suggest that a large percentage of patients (66.6%) were lost to
follow up in spite of free access in monitoring and treatment. In contrast, 82.5% of patients
treated, completed treatment successfully remaining under follow-up. From those receiving
DAAs, 100% completed treatment and achieved SVR.
Disclosure of interest statement: None to disclose