Hepatitis C Can Be Successfully Treated in Homeless Population

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joshua Barocas, MD
Clinical and Research Fellow
Division of Infectious Diseases
Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program began treating HCV-infected individuals with the new oral medications.

Based on clinical experience and previous experience with medication adherence in the setting of HIV, there were no clinical reasons that homeless persons should be excluded.

As a result, we began to track the experience of treated individuals including cure, side effects, and adherence.

We found that in the initial group of treated individuals, 62 of 64 persons achieved SVR. There were minimal side effects and adherence was excellent

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We encourage people to begin treating homeless and marginally housed persons for their HCV. This is an infection that is associated with increasing morbidity and mortality as it progresses.

Our medications are safe and effective. Our study demonstrates that homeless and marginally housed persons are adherent to their medications and can achieve outcomes similar to those in clinical trials.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: More implementation studies need to be performed to find the most effective ways to treat and cure HCV in homeless persons.

We already know that the medications are effective. We now have to find new ways to get individuals treated. More research funding should be directed toward this area of research.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Experience and Outcomes of Hepatitis C Treatment in a Cohort of Homeless and Marginally Housed Adults
Joshua A. Barocas, MD Marguerite Beiser, NP Casey León, MPH Jessie M. Gaeta, MD James J. O’Connell, MD Benjamin P. Linas, MD, MPH
JAMA Internal Medicine Published online April 10, 2017

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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