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Policy responses to hepatitis C in the Nordic countries: Gaps and discrepant reporting in the Hep-Nordic study

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dc.contributor Háskóli Íslands
dc.contributor University of Iceland
dc.contributor.author Safreed-Harmon, Kelly
dc.contributor.author Hetherington, Kristina L.
dc.contributor.author Aleman, Soo
dc.contributor.author Alho, Hannu
dc.contributor.author Dalgard, Olav
dc.contributor.author Frisch, Tove
dc.contributor.author Gottfredsson, Magnus
dc.contributor.author Weis, Nina
dc.contributor.author Lazarus, Jeffrey V.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-10-03T12:03:23Z
dc.date.available 2018-10-03T12:03:23Z
dc.date.issued 2018-01-30
dc.identifier.citation Safreed-Harmon K, Hetherington KL, Aleman S, Alho H, Dalgard O, Frisch T, et al. (2018) Policy responses to hepatitis C in the Nordic countries: Gaps and discrepant reporting in the Hep-Nordic study. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190146. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190146
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/867
dc.description.abstract Background and aims In the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden), the prevalence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is relatively low in the general population, but is much higher among people who inject drugs (PWID). We conducted an exploratory study to investigate the extent to which these countries have policies supporting key elements of the public health response that is necessary to achieve the global goal of eliminating HCV as a public health threat. Methods Fourteen stakeholders representing government agencies, medical societies, and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Nordic countries completed a cross-sectional online survey that included 21 policy questions related to national coordination, prevention, testing, linkage to care, and treatment. We summarised the findings in a descriptive analysis, and noted discrepant responses from stakeholders within the same country. Results Stakeholders reported that three of the five study countries have national viral hepatitis strategies, while only Iceland has a national HCV elimination goal. The availability of harm reduction services varies, with opioid substitution therapy provided for the general population throughout all countries, but not needle and syringe programmes. No country has access to anonymous HCV testing in all parts of the country. National HCV treatment guidelines are available in all countries except Finland, and all countries provide publicly funded direct-acting antiviral treatment. Disagreement regarding policies was observed across countries, and CSOs were the stakeholder group that most frequently answered survey questions incorrectly. Conclusion The Nordic region as a whole has not consistently expressed its commitment to tackling HCV, despite the existence of large HCV epidemics among PWID in these countries. Stakeholder alignment and an established elimination goal with an accompanying strategy and implementation plan should be recognised as the basis for coordinated national public health efforts to achieve HCV elimination in the Nordic region and elsewhere.
dc.description.sponsorship Funding was provided by Gilead Sciences (212010336) to Jeffrey Victor Lazarus, Kelly Safreed-Harmon, and Kristina L. Hetherington.
dc.format.extent e0190146
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
dc.relation.ispartofseries Plos One;13(1)
dc.rights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.subject Hepatitis C virus
dc.subject Drug therapy
dc.subject Prisons
dc.subject Lifrarbólga C
dc.subject Lyfjameðferð
dc.subject Fangelsi
dc.title Policy responses to hepatitis C in the Nordic countries: Gaps and discrepant reporting in the Hep-Nordic study
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dcterms.license This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.description.version Peer Reviewed
dc.identifier.journal Plos One
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0190146
dc.relation.url http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190146
dc.contributor.department Læknadeild (HÍ)
dc.contributor.department Faculty of Medicine (UI)
dc.contributor.school Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
dc.contributor.school School of Health Sciences (UI)

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