The Hepatitis C Continuum of Care Among HIV-Positive Persons with Heavy Alcohol Use in St. Petersburg, Russia

AIDS Behav. 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1007/s10461-021-03214-y. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

This study describes the self-reported prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection and the HCV care continuum among persons enrolled in the St PETER HIV Study, a randomized controlled trial of medications for smoking and alcohol cessation in HIV-positive heavy drinkers and smokers in St. Petersburg, Russia. Baseline health questionnaire data were used to calculate proportions and 95% confidence intervals for self-reported steps along the HCV continuum of care. The cohort included 399 HIV-positive persons, of whom 387 [97.0% (95% CI 95.3-98.7%)] reported a prior HCV test and 315 [78.9% (95% CI 74.9-82.9%)] reported a prior diagnosis of HCV. Among those reporting a diagnosis of HCV, 43 [13.7% (95% CI 9.9-17.4%)] had received treatment for HCV, and 31 [9.8% (95% CI 6.6-13.1%)] had been cured. Despite frequent HCV testing in this HIV-positive Russian cohort, the proportion reporting prior effective HCV treatment was strikingly low. Increased efforts are needed to scale-up HCV treatment among HIV-positive Russians in St. Petersburg.

Keywords: Continuum of care; HIV; Hepatitis C; Substance use.