Opioid Substitution Therapy, Especially in Combination with Needle Exchange, Reduces Transmission of Hepatitis C

Last week, results from a new systematic review and meta-analysis were presented at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference that show for the first time  good evidence that methadone and other forms of opioid substitution therapy (OST) substantially reduce new hepatitis C infections.

The analysis compared rates of new hepatitis C infections in people who currently (or had recently) received OST with infections in people who did not get OST. Individuals receiving OST had a 39% lower risk of acquiring hepatitis C. Although the study did not show evidence that syringe exchange alone reduced hepatitis c transmission, individuals who received both OST and had high coverage of needle syringe program were 71% less likely to become infected with hepatitis C. Read more here.

About Alyssa Kitlas

Alyssa Kitlas serves as a Program Analyst on NACCHO's HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis team. Her work includes projects on HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis prevention and care. Twitter: @AlyssaKitlas

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