Willingness to Receive Treatment for Hepatitis C among Injecting Drug ‎Users on Methadone Program: Implications for Education and Treatment

Zahra Alammehrjerdi, Afsaneh Moradi, Fenglian Xu, Mehran Zarghami, Javad Salehi-Fadardi, Kate Dolan

Abstract


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is common among people who inject drugs (PWID) on methadone program in Iran (Persia). However, a few PWID on methadone program report willingness to receive HCV treatment. This study aimed to assess the factors which were associated with willingness to receive HCV treatment in a group of PWID on methadone program in Iran.

Methods: We surveyed 187 PWID at seven drops in centers in Tehran, Iran. Details of demographic characteristics, drug use, injection, HCV, and drug treatment history were collected a using 25-item questionnaire. Participants were serologically tested for the current status of HCV.

Findings: The study found that 28.3% of the participants were HCV seropositive. In total, 49.1% of the participants reported unwillingness to receive HCV treatment. Awareness of current HCV status [odds ratio (OR) = 3.43; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33-7.26; P < 0.050]; adequate knowledge of HCV treatment centers in the community (OR = 3.9; 95% CI: 1.24-5.38; P < 0.050); participation in an educational program on HCV (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 2.33-8.56; P < 0.001) and recent participation in the meetings of self-help groups (OR = 4.6; 95% CI: 3.43-9.33; P < 0.001) were significantly associated with current willingness to receive HCV treatment.

Conclusion:The study results indicate that awareness of HCV status and the provision of adequate HCV education via different information centers can be associated with an increased willingness for HCV treatment among PWID on methadone program. Conducting more research is suggested to assess the efficacy of educational programs and self-help groups in facilitating HCV treatment among PWID on methadone program.

 


Keywords


Hepatitis C virus; Drug injection; Iran; Persian Gulf; Harm reduction

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22122/ahj.v8i2.384

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