What is the evidence for the effectiveness of interventions to reduce hepatitis C infection and the associated morbidity?
This is a Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on effective interventions to reduce hepatitis C infection. Prevalence is most common among injecting drug user populations, where up to 98% can be infected despite a low HIV prevalence. Interventions are needed, particularly among injecting drug user populations. Behavioural interventions, distribution of bleach disinfectant and other injecting devices alongside clean needles and syringes, and supervised injecting centres are all promising interventions that merit further piloting and evaluation. Where opiate replacement therapy is provided for drug users, adequate dosing regimes should be used to minimize the risk of injecting practice. Cost-effectiveness analysis of current interventions aimed at primary prevention of hepatitis C infection shows additional benefits in reducing the prevalence of HIV.