, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 1325-1330
Date: 29 Aug 2008

Access to Treatment of Hepatitis C in Prison Inmates

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We conducted a prospective study to investigate access to treatment in hepatitis C in 268 prisoners. Hepatitis C positivity had been known for 182 prisoners previously and 19 reported previous attempts to treat (10%). In comparison, during our study, 86/268 prisoners (32%) started therapy (P < 0.0001). They represented 41% of 211 prisoners with a positive viral load. In the genotype 2 or 3 group, 46 prisoners (50%) started therapy versus 40 prisoners (33%) with other genotypes (P = 0.01). This difference was due to prisoners waiting for liver biopsy. On an intention to treat basis, 45 prisoners (52%) achieved sustained virological response 6 months after the end of therapy. We conclude that a stay in prison is an effective opportunity to treat a group of hepatitis C patients which otherwise have very limited access to therapy.

This work was presented in part at the 15th United European Gastroenterology Week, Paris, October 2007, and received no sponsorship.