Needle and Syringe Provision and Opioid Agonist Treatment May Reduce the Spread of HCV in People with Injection Drug Use
Injection drug use (IDU) is the primary route of HCV transmission. Interventions that impact injection drug use behaviors, such as needle and syringe provision (NSP) and opioid agonist treatment (OAT), may decrease the spread of HCV. However, there is little direct evidence linking such interventions to reductions in HCV incidence. This meta-analysis pooled data from 6 studies to assess whether NSP* (alone or in combination) and OAT were associated with reduced incidence of HCV. Studies were included if they were published in the UK after 2000, if they contained individual-level data on NSP and/or OAT, and if they measured newly acquired cases HCV infection. Six observational studies were identified: 4 were cross-sectional studies, and 2 were cohort studies.
- Participants receiving OAT had 59% lower odds of new HCV infection (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.41).
- Participants engaged in high NSP had 52% lower odds of new HCV infection (AOR, 0.48).
- The combined effect of the interventions was stronger than each alone (AOR, 0.21).