Prison‐based antiviral treatment for chronic hepatitis C is a critical element of the national elimination goal
In 2016, it was estimated 227 000 Australians had chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, with the majority infected through unsafe injecting drug use.1 The advent of direct‐acting antiviral (DAA) therapies for HCV infection, and their subsequent listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in March 2016, means that all Australians with chronic HCV, including prisoners, can access well tolerated, short course, highly curative treatments, regardless of how they acquire their infection or their disease stage. This universal access approach is supported by modelling that shows that increasing treatment uptake among people who inject drugs is an effective public health measure to reduce community prevalence due to the interruption of HCV transmissions.2 These elements underpin Australia's efforts to meet the World Health Organization goal to eliminate HCV as a public health threat by 2030, including key targets of a 90% decline in new infections, a reduction in HCV‐related mortality by 65%, and HCV treatment provision for 80% of those infected.3
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