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BMC Public Health

, 13:981

Health behavior, health promotion and society


BackgroundThe aim of the present study is to test in the feasibility of a screening programme for HCV infection in an Italian prison and to evaluate the treatment outcomes.

MethodSingle-centre cross-sectional study carried out in Milan-Opera. The HCV infection prevalence was calculated on the imprisoned population on the January 31 2006, the data on treatment over the following 2 years. Treatment option offered to HCV chronically infected patients was then analysed, reasons for not being treated was evaluated.

ResultsOf the 965 inmates, 695 were enrolled in the study, 682 98% were males, the median age was 43 years. There were 131 18.8% foreigners and 564 81.2% Italians. HCV seroprevalence was 22.4%95% CI:19.4%-25.7%, 60 subjects 38.4% being HIV co-infected too. Prevalence of HCV infection was significantly higher in HIVAb positive 89.6%; 95% CI:79.7%-95.7% than in HIVAb negative 15.15%; 95% CI 12.6%-18.3% p<0.001. Among Italian inmates HCVAb positivity was significantly higher than among foreigners p=0.0154. Among HCVAb positive patients, 135 subjects were HCV-RNA positive. Forty-seven 36% had major clinical contraindication to treatment, 18 13% refused the treatment, 7 5% moved to other Institute and 27 20% were not evaluated by infectious disease specialists. Fifteen patients 43% who received treatment were considered responders, 9 26% were non responders-relapsers, 6 17% interrupted treatment due to side effects and 5 14% were released during treatment and lost in follow-up.

ConclusionsThis study indicates that the proportion of patients in a prison setting receiving diagnosis and treatment for HCV infection remained low.

KeywordsHCV-infection HCV-prevalence Prison HCV treatment HIV-HCV coinfection AbbreviationsHCVHepatitis C virus

CDCCenter for disease control

IVDUIntra venus drug abuser

HIVHuman immunodeficiency virus

SVRSustained virologic response


Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-13-981 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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