In 2019, only 32% of children and youth who had tested positive for hepatitis C in British Columbia, Canada, had initiated treatment, according to data presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.
“The specific clinical and treatment experiences of young people living with HCV infection are limited in HCV research, so care cascades are a useful tool that can visualize the journey of individuals across the stages of illness, care and treatment. And these are useful for identifying gaps in progress across the stages of care and ultimately can inform public health programming to optimize care services,” Dahn Jeong, MSc, a PhD candidate at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia said during a presentation. “The aim of this study was first to construct the HCV cascade of care for persons aged younger than 30 years living in British Columbia in 2019, and we also aimed to characterize the progression of young people along the cascade.”
Jeong and colleagues analyzed data from the British Columbia Hepatitis Testers Cohort, which includes all individuals tested for or reported as an HCV case in British Columbia since 1990, on people aged younger than 30 years in 2019 who had been diagnosed with HCV. These data were also linked with administrative data on medical visits and prescription drugs from the British Columbia Ministry of Health databases . The HCV cascade of care was defined as estimated HVC prevalence, antibody diagnosis, RNA testing, genotyping, treatment initiation and sustained virologic response (SVR). The proportion of children and youth were estimated in each stage.