In Vietnam, harm reduction programs to control HIV among people who inject drugs (PWID) were implemented approximately 10 years ago. Since then, the HIV prevalence has declined in this population, however, the impact of these programs on the rate of new HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) infections remains unknown as high mortality can exceed the rate of new infections. We evaluated HIV and HCV incidences in a cohort of active PWID in HaiPhong in 2014, who were recruited from a community-based respondent driven sampling (RDS) survey and followed for 1 year. Only HIV-negative or HCV-negative participants not on medication assisted treatment (MAT) were eligible. HIV/HCV serology was tested at enrollment and at 32- and 64-week follow-up visits. Among 603 RDS participants, 250 were enrolled in the cohort, including 199 HIV seronegative and 99 HCV seronegative PWID. No HIV seroconversion was reported during the 206 person-years (PY) of follow-up (HIV incidence of 0/100PY, one-sided 97.5% CI:0-1.8/100 PY). Eighteen HCV seroconversions were reported for an incidence of 19.4/100 PY (95% CI;11.5-30.7). In multivariate analysis, “Injecting more than twice daily” was associated with HCV seroconversion with an adjusted odds ratio of 5.8 (95% CI;1.8-18.1). In Hai Phong, in a context that demonstrates the effectiveness of HIV control programs, the HCV incidence remains high. New strategies such as mass access to HCV treatment should be evaluated in order to tackle HCV transmission among PWID.
HIV control programs reduce HIV incidence but not HCV incidence among people who inject drugs in HaiPhong, Vietnam
Scientific Reports, 10 (1), 6999. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63990-w. PMCID: PMC7181676.