Models of care for the management of hepatitis C virus among people who inject drugs: one size does not fit all

Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;57 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S56-61. doi: 10.1093/cid/cit271.


One of the major obstacles to hepatitis C virus (HCV) care in people who inject drugs (PWID) is the lack of treatment settings that are suitably adapted for the needs of this vulnerable population. Nevertheless, HCV treatment has been delivered successfully to PWID through various multidisciplinary models such as community-based clinics, substance abuse treatment clinics, and specialized hospital-based clinics. Models may be integrated in primary care--all under one roof in either addiction care units or general practitioner-based models--or can occur in secondary or tertiary care settings. Additional innovative models include directly observed therapy and peer-based models. A high level of acceptance of the individual life circumstances of PWID rather than rigid exclusion criteria will determine the level of success of any model of HCV management. The impact of highly potent and well-tolerated interferon-free HCV treatment regimens will remain negligible as long as access to therapy cannot be expanded to the most affected risk groups.

Keywords: IDU; hepatitis C; integrated care; management; people who inject drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Administration*
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications*