Accessing Hepatitis C patients who are difficult to reach: it is time to overcome barriers

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SUMMARY.With the arrival of simple, efficient and safe interferon-free treatment regimens, hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy will have the potential to be successfully used for the majority of infected patients and prevent the associated morbidity and mortality. With the current treatment uptake rates, only a very small proportion of HCV-infected patients are reached. Paradoxically, treatment rates are lowest in the most affected at-risk group – people who inject drugs (PWID) – which is the major driving force behind the spread of HCV infection. To conquer the increasing problem of HCV-related liver disease, many existing but modifiable obstacles, which prevent detection, assessment and treatment uptake, have to be overcome in this population. This review article summarizes the existing literature on the most relevant barriers preventing HCV care and describes measures to overcome these obstacles.

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