Background: People with HIV are disproportionately coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and experience accelerated liver-related mortality. Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) yield high sustained virologic response (SVR) rates, but uptake is suboptimal. This study characterizes the DAA-era HCV treatment cascade and barriers among US men and women with or at risk for HIV.
Methods: We constructed HCV treatment cascades using the Women's Interagency HIV Study (women, 6 visits, 2015-2018, n = 2447) and Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (men, 1 visit, 2015-2018, n = 2221). Cascades included treatment-eligible individuals (ie, HCV RNA-positive or reported DAAs). Surveys captured self-reported clinical (eg, CD4), patient (eg, missed visits), system (eg, appointment access), and financial/insurance barriers.
Results: Of 323/92 (women/men) treatment eligible, most had HIV (77%/70%); 69%/63% were black. HIV-positive women were more likely to attain cascade outcomes than HIV-negative women (39% vs 23% initiated, 21% vs 12% SVR); similar discrepancies were noted for men. Black men and substance users were treated less often. Women initiating treatment (vs not) reported fewer patient barriers (14%/33%). Among men not treated, clinical barriers were prevalent (53%).
Conclusions: HIV care may facilitate HCV treatment linkage and barrier navigation. HIV-negative individuals, black men, and substance users may need additional support.
Keywords: HIV; direct-acting antivirals; hepatitis C; linkage to care.
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