Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Department of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The World Health Organization targets for hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination include a 90% reduction in new infections by 2030. Our objective is to review the modelling evidence and cost data surrounding feasibility of HCV elimination among people living with HIV (PLWH), and identify likely components for elimination. We also discuss the real-world experience of HCV direct acting antiviral (DAA) scale-up and elimination efforts in the Netherlands.
We review modelling evidence of what intervention scale-up is required to achieve WHO HCV elimination targets among HIV-infected (HIV+) people who inject drugs (PWID) and men who have sex with men (MSM), review cost-effectiveness of HCV therapy among PLWH and discuss economic implications of elimination. We additionally use the real-world experience of DAA scale-up in the Netherlands to illustrate the promise and potential challenges of HCV elimination strategies in MSM. Finally, we summarize key components of the HCV elimination response among PWLH.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:
Modelling indicates HCV elimination among HIV+ MSM and PWID is potentially achievable but requires combination treatment and either harm reduction or behavioural risk reductions. Preliminary modelling indicates elimination among HIV+ PWID will require elimination efforts among PWID more broadly. Treatment for PLWH and high-risk populations (PWID and MSM) is cost-effective in high-income countries, but costs of DAAs remain a barrier to scale-up worldwide despite the potential low production price ($50 per 12 week course). In the Netherlands, universal DAA availability led to rapid uptake among HIV+ MSM in 2015/16, and a 50% reduction in acute HCV incidence among HIV+ MSM from 2014 to 2016 was observed. In addition to HCV treatment, elimination among PLWH globally also likely requires regular HCV testing, development of low-cost accurate HCV diagnostics, reduced costs of DAA therapy, broad treatment access without restrictions, close monitoring for HCV reinfection and retreatment, and harm reduction and/or behavioural interventions.
Achieving WHO HCV Elimination targets is potentially achievable among HIV-infected populations. Among HIV+ PWID, it likely requires HCV treatment scale-up combined with harm reduction for both HIV+ and HIV- populations. Among HIV+ MSM, elimination likely requires both HCV treatment and behaviour risk reduction among the HIV+ MSM population, the latter of which to date has not been observed. Lower HCV diagnostic and treatment costs will be key to ensuring scale-up of HCV testing and treatment without restriction, enabling elimination.