Reinfection after hepatitis C cure: prevention may require long-term support for people who have injected drugs

Reinfection rates after hepatitis C cure among people who inject drug users, as well as past drug users, are relatively low, according to findings from studies from Norway and Canada presented at the International Liver Congress in Vienna in April.

The findings suggest that current and former injecting drug users who have been cured of hepatitis C require ongoing support to remain free of hepatitis C, but also indicate that fears of a high rate of reinfection should not be used as a reason to withhold hepatitis C treatment from people who inject drugs.

A meta-analysis of studies of hepatitis C treatment outcomes in people who inject drugs, published in 2013, found an incidence of between 2.4 and 6.4 per 100 person-years of follow-up, but a subsequent meta-analysis found that the reinfection rate could be as high as 8%. (Aspinall 2013, Hill 2014)

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