#VP64: The Hepris Study – Prevalence Of Hepatitis C In Norwegian Prisons

Author: Joakim Hauge Elisabeth Jarnaess Knut Boe Kielland Havard Midgard Olav Dalgard

Theme: Epidemiology and Public Health Research Year: 2021

Background: People incarcerated in prison are a recognized high-risk group for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The primary aim was to assess the prevalence of HCV infection among people incarcerated in Norwegian prisons, with a special emphasis on people who inject drugs. Approval granted by Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics South-East Norway (2016/1189). Methods: Newly incarcerated individuals in 6 prisons in a 12–18-month inclusion period in 2018-2019 were offered participation. Participants were tested for anti-HCV by rapid diagnostic test (HCV OraQuick®) and retested for anti-HCV and HCV RNA if positive. Results: A total of 870 participants were included. Median age was 35 years (IQR 28-45), 10.3% (90/870) were female and 78.7% (685/870) were Norwegian citizens. Ever injecting drug use (IDU) was reported by 35.9% (312/870) and current/former opioid agonist treatment (OAT) by 12.4% (108/870). Prevalence of anti-HCV was 19.7% (171/870) and of HCV RNA 9.3% (81/870), hence 47.3% ever exposed to HCV had chronic HCV infection. Anti-HCV positivity was 14.6% (62/425) among participants < 35 years and 24.5% (109/445) ≥ 35 years (p

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