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Does the Optimal Medical Treatment of Hepatitis C depend on whether the Patient is Incarcerated?

Posted Nov 20 2012 12:00am

Incarcerated individuals are more likely to have the hepatitis C virus (HCV) than those who live in the community.  The high prevalence of HCV infection in the prison population is largely due tot he fact that prisoners hare more likely to have a history of intravenous drug use.  “A history of intravenous drug use is estimated in 20% of state inmates and 55% of federal inmates…In addition, up to 83% of intravenous drug users will be incarcerated at some point in their lifetime.”

One outstanding question is whether inmates responses to HCV treatment are as successful as for HCV-infected individuals who are not incarcerated.  Using a sample of almost 1000 individuals in Wisconsin, a recent paper by Rice et al. attempts to answer that question.  Their findings are described below.

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