F3. Hepatitis C
Oral Abstract Submission
Shyam Kottilil, MD PhD
Director Clinical Care and Research, ID Division Head
University of Maryland
Disclosure: Merck, Gilead: Advisor or Review Panel member
Merck, Gilead, Arbutus: Grant/Research Support
People who inject drugs (PWID) have significant morbidity and mortality associated with hepatitis C (HCV); however, harms associated with ongoing injecting drug use (IDU) -- such as opioid overdose -- may pose a more imminent risk, and often are not addressed as part of HCV treatment. Naloxone distribution is a simple, evidenced based strategy to reduce mortality associated with opioid overdose.
Methods : ANCHOR is a single-center study embedded in an urban harm-reduction program evaluating treatment of HCV in PWID with chronic HCV, opioid use disorder (OUD), and IDU. Participants received HCV treatment and were offered collocated buprenorphine. At each study visit, patients self-reported experienced and witnessed overdose and were offered naloxone.
Results : The 100 enrolled participants are predominantly male (75%), median 57 years, black (93%) and inject opioids at least daily (58%). At baseline, 65% had ever experienced overdose, 91% had ever witnessed an overdose, and 35% had ever administered naloxone.
Between day 0 and week 48, 15 patients (15%) experienced overdose, of which 4 (4%) were fatal. The rate of experienced overdose was 15 overdoses per 100 person-years. In addition, fifty-nine (59%) patients witnessed at least one overdose between day 0 and week 48. Seventy-three patients were dispensed naloxone at least once, and of those who witnessed an overdose, 48 (81%) administered naloxone. Nineteen (40%) patients who administered naloxone had never used naloxone before starting HCV treatment.
Conclusion : PWID with HCV, OUD, and ongoing IDU have high rates of personal and witnessed overdose during and after HCV treatment. Dispensing naloxone at HCV related visits is highly acceptable among PWID, and results in high rates of naloxone utilization. To reduce morbidity and mortality in patients and their communities, ID providers should complement treatment of infections by prescribing naloxone for patients with OUD, ideally as part of a comprehensive package of harm reduction and OUD treatment.