A new study demonstrates how public health strategies aimed at improving HIV treatment outcomes can be used to better care for patients with another viral infection, hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a deadly blood-borne disease that causes liver inflammation and scarring. The illness affects 58 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a goal to cure 80% of diagnosed chronic cases by 2030 using currently available highly active medications.
Previously, doctors and researchers visualized challenges in HIV care by applying “treatment cascades” to track patient data at different stages such as diagnosis of HIV, participation in clinical care, receipt of medications, and more. Partnering with Connecticut Department of Health, a group of physician researchers at Yale School of Medicine built on lessons learned through caring for patients with HIV and created a similar treatment cascade for hepatitis C. This study analyzed data across 11 clinics in Connecticut from 1,496 patients who had both HIV and hepatitis C.
The team found that by using the treatment cascade, participating clinics had successfully cured 73% of patients, close to the WHO cure goal of 80%. They also identified factors that related to the likelihood of starting treatment, noticing that women and patients with poorly controlled HIV were less likely to start hepatitis C treatment compared to the overall clinic HIV/HCV coinfected population. The authors assert that implementing such a tracking approach could allow clinics to understand specific barriers to treatment and help close such gaps.
To learn more, read the article: “Creating a Longitudinal HCV Care Cascade for Persons With HIV/HCV Coinfection in Selected HIV Clinics Using Data to Care Methods”
Brooks R, Wegener M, Speers S, et al. Creating a Longitudinal HCV Care Cascade for Persons With HIV/HCV Coinfection in Selected HIV Clinics Using Data to Care Methods. Health Promotion Practice. 2023;0(0). doi:10.1177/15248399231169792