Approximately 1 in 4 of the nearly 2 million individuals in state and federal correctional facilities are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).
However, there are currently very few reports of treatment outcomes of hepatitis C in this setting.
In this study, a team of researchers from the United States performed a retrospective observational study to describe HCV therapy at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.
They assessed 93 inmates with chronic HCV infection.
|63% of patients achieved viral clearance after 6 months of therapy.|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
Patients were treated using interferon with ribavirin.
The research team evaluated HCV RNA levels 6 months after treatment.
The team found response rates to be similar to previously published rates achieved in the community.
They found that 63% of patients achieved viral clearance after 6 months of therapy, and that 46% achieved sustained response 6 months after treatment.
Dr Scott Allen's team concluded, "The incarcerated population (which is disproportionately affected by addiction and psychiatric illness) can be effectively treated for HCV infection with interferon and ribavirin".
"The correctional setting may provide an opportunity to safely treat patients with these two challenging comorbid conditions."