Implementation of comprehensive harm reduction policies has achieved impressive reductions in incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Scotland, research publish in PLOS ONE shows.
In 2008, the Scottish government expanded access to sterile injecting equipment and also improved the provision of opioid substitution treatment. HCV incidence among people who inject drugs declined sharply between 2008 and 2012 and the investigators estimated that the harm reduction interventions averted 1000 new chronic HCV infections in this population.
“We observed a decline in HCV incidence among PWID during a period of harm reduction services in Scotland,” comment the authors. “This is the first study to demonstrate that impressive reductions in HCV incidence can be achieved among PWID over a relatively short period through high coverage of a combination of interventions.”
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