Martin Kåberg [1], Makarova Natalia [2]
Affiliates: [1] Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Sweden. [2] Beroendecentrum Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden.

The viremic prevalence of hepatitis C (HCV) in people who inject drugs (PWID) and patients in opiate agonist treatment (OAT) in Stockholm is >60% in. With continuous injecting risk behaviour, which is frequent in OAT patients, the risk of seroconversion and reinfection is high and repeated HCV testing is thus of great importance in these high prevalence setting.

This cross-sectional study examined the documented HCV status in all 162 OAT patients in a Stockholm OAT clinic. Data were collected from the patients’ digital charts where all individual HCV testing data from all health care clinics in the Stockholm County are registered and linked to the patient’s unique person number.

Overall, data on HCV testing and result were found in 86% (141/162) of the OAT patients, and 36% (58/162) were chronic infections (with two consecutive HCV-RNA positive test). Of the remaining 64%, 20% (21/104) had an unknown HCV status, 18% (19/104) were anti-HCV negative and 51% (53/104) were HCV-RNA negative. For the patients susceptible for HCV (or with an unclear HCV status) only 32% were HCV tested during the past twelve months.

These results are of great importance for creating new routines for repeated HCV testing in all OAT clinics in Stockholm. With better testing routines more HCV patient can be identified for treatment and possible reinfection post HCV treatment and spontaneous clearance would also be identified in an early stage.