Chronic hepatitis C and individuals with a history of injecting drugs in Spain: Population assessment, challenges for successful treatment

Carlos Roncero, Richard Littlewood, Pablo Vega, Jose Martinez-Raga, Marta Torrens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. In Spain, there is a need to improve chronic hepatitis C care among people who inject drugs (PWID). Injecting drug use is an important risk behaviour for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Review of 28 sources of the relevant published literature mapped the size of the addiction-HCV population in Spain. Experts in opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in Spain completed a consensus to define the population size, HCV prevalence and access or barriers to hepatitis C treatment for PWID populations. In Spain, over 300 000 individuals have a lifetime history of injecting drugs. Currently, 150 000 individuals in Spain have OUD; many have injected drugs. Each year, 80 000 individuals engage with treatment services for OUD. A proportion of this group continues to inject drugs. There is a high HCV prevalence in PWID-estimates of 60-80% in Spain. Uptake of hepatitis C therapy in PWID in Spain is limited; barriers include awareness of treatment pathways, advocacy for regular screening and effective joint care. There is an urgent need to address barriers to effective hepatitis C care for PWID in Spain. Practical and specific strategies including peer-led solutions, patient buddy systems and joint working models at the local level can make important short-term differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-633
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • hepatitis C virus
  • opioid use disorder
  • people who inject drugs
  • Spain
  • treatment

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