Hepatitis C Treatment in Prison Best if Completed Before Release

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Hepatitis C Treatment in Prison Best if Completed Before Release

It is best to treat prison inmates for hepatitis C before they leave prison.

Prisoners being treated for hepatitis C virus (HCV) often have similar outcomes to those being treated in the community setting, according to a recent study conducted in Scotland. But treatment is most effective when completed while the prisoner is still in the facility where treatment was started. Published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis and conducted by Esther Aspinall, MD, for the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, and colleagues, the study compared treatment outcomes between HCV patients treated in prison and those treated in community-based programs and examined how treatment was impacted if prisoners were released during therapy.

Although directly-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies have shortened treatment times for HCV patients, the authors report “Nearly half of all prison sentences in Scotland are less than six months, providing limited time for HCV testing, assessment, and treatment completion, even in the DAA era.”

The researchers used a national database to compare treatment outcomes between prison treatment initiates and a matched community sample.

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