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Test-And-Treat Model with Direct-Acting Antivirals for Hepatitis C in Migrants

Migrants, mainly undocumented and low-income refugees, are at high risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but are a difficult-to-reach and to-treat population. A study, published in Infectious Diseases of Poverty, evaluated the effectiveness of a test and treat model with direct-acting antivirals for HCV infection in migrants coming from low-income countries and living in southern Italy.

The model of HCV screening and linkage to care seems effective to eliminate HCV infection in a difficult-to-reach and to-treat population, such as undocumented migrants and low-income refugees. The participation of cultural mediators in the study made possible a better interaction between migrants and physicians. Eliminating HCV among migrants will have a long-term positive impact from a public health and healthcare perspective by reducing the number of individuals who potentially develop HCV-related complications such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and reducing the circulation of HCV in the regions that host them which often, as in the case of Italy, are low endemic for HCV infection.

Access the full study results at Infectious Diseases of Poverty.