Background/aim: Currently, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can be cured by direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). In this study, we aimed to find the rate of viremia among patients with a positive anti-HCV test and the rate of antiviral treatment given to viremic patients. We also aimed to reach patients with anti-HCV positivity but not tested for HCV-RNA, and patients, who were diagnosed with HCV-RNA positivity but received no treatment. Materials and methods: In this study, individuals tested for anti-HCV in Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University Research and Application Hospital in the period between January 2010 and January 2020 were reviewed retrospectively. Anti-HCV positive patients, who were not tested for HCV-RNA, and HCV-RNA positive patients, who did not receive treatment, were called for a follow-up visit in the outpatient clinic. Results: The prevalences of anti-HCV positivity and viremia among patients were 2.24% and 0.67%, respectively. A HCV-RNA test was ordered in 71.7% of the anti-HCV positive patients. Antiviral treatment was not given to 44.4% of the viremic patients. Of the patients, who were called for a follow-up visit in the outpatient clinic, 3.9% attended the visit. Of these patients, 0.8% were HCV-RNA positive and 0.7% received treatment. Conclusion: Although the rate of HCV-RNA testing was relatively high in patients with anti-HCV positivity, almost half of them did not receive treatment. We could reach only one-third of the patients, who were called for a follow-up visit, and only a few patients received treatment. Individuals with anti-HCV positivity should be referred to a specialist without delay and HCV-RNA testing should be performed immediately to achieve HCV elimination targets. The likelihood of difficulties in reaching patients later should be considered.
Hepatitis C virus, chronic hepatitis C, elimination, prevalence
TÜRKOĞLU, EMİNE; PARLAK, ZAFER; and BARUT, HÜSEYİN ŞENER
"Assessment of HCV-RNA test results and access rates to antiviral treatment in patients with anti-HCV positivity-a 10-year analysis,"
Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences: Vol. 52:
6, Article 29.
Available at: https://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/medical/vol52/iss6/29