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Widespread use of Direct-Acting Antivirals (DAAs) has achieved an almost 50% reduction in hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence among people with HIV in Spain, according to data presented to the 16th European AIDS Conference (EACS 2017), held last week in Milan, Italy.
The research involved 43 HIV treatment centres across Spain. The proportion of people with chronic HCV fell from 22% in late 2015 to 11.6% in late 2016. After taking into account people currently undergoing treatment, the real figure could be as low as 9%.
Since early 2016, DAA therapy has been available for all people with HCV in Spain with F2 fibrosis and above, and also for individuals at risk of transmitting HCV, regardless of fibrosis status.
The proportion of HIV-positive people in Spain who have co-infection with HCV has been falling since 2002. Part of this can be explained by a decline in people who were infected with HIV through injecting drug use: from 55% in 2002 to 30% in 2016.
But it’s clear that HCV treatment is also a major contributory factor. The proportion of people receiving treatment increased from 23% in 2002, to 59% in 2015 and to 74% in 2016.
The results of the analysis suggest that use of DAAs is helping Spain make excellent progress towards the elimination of HCV among people with HIV
Source: Frank Owusu Obimpeh
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