The prevalence of HCV ab positivity had remained essentially static at 50-60% for 20 years - until the introduction of DAA therapy in March 2016.
In 2015 the ANSPS began using DBS for HCV RNA (after a successful feasibility study in 2012). Jenny was able to discuss the recently analysed comparison data between 2015 and 2017. And the results are very encouraging.
While the above results show an impressive decrease in the number of people with active infection (and thus a decrease in the pool of transmittable virus), Jenny noted that this data is only applicable to people who are engaged with NSP programs, not the wider injecting community. She also noted that this survey does not collect SVR12 data (however with such high cure rates it is unlikely SVR12 data would alter the results).
She concluded that surveillance remains important; to monitor success but also to identify inequity and areas to improve. This presentation was one of a number of exciting and informative sessions held on Day 1!
Dr Mel Kelly is an infectious diseases staff specialist working at The Albion Centre. She is also completing her Sexual Health Medicine Chapter advanced training. Her clinical and research interests include HIV, Hepatitis C, antimicrobial stewardship in the context of Sexually Transmitted infection and transgender health.