Time-to-hepatitis C treatment initiation among people who inject drugs in Melbourne, Australia

Phyo T.Z. Aung, Tim Spelman, Anna L. Wilkinson, Paul M. Dietze, Mark A. Stoové, Margaret E. Hellard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study aims to understand the time-to-treatment initiation pre and post DAA access to inform strategies to improve HCV care. The data for our study were derived from the SuperMIX cohort study of people who inject drugs in Melbourne, Australia. Time-to-event analysis using Weibull accelerated failure time was performed for data collected between 2009 and 2021, among a cohort of HCV-positive participants. Among 223 participants who tested positive for active hepatitis C infection, 102 people (45.7%) reported treatment initiation, with a median time-to-treatment of 7 years. However, the median time-to-treatment reduced to 2.3 years for those tested positive after 2016. The study found that treatment with Opioid Agonist Therapy (TR 0.7, 95% CI 0.6–0.9), engagement with health or social services (TR 0.7, 95% CI 0.6–0.9), and having a first positive HCV RNA test after March 2016 (TR 0.3, 95% CI 0.2–0.3) were associated with a reduced time-to-treatment initiation. The study highlights the need for strategies to improve engagement with health services, including drug treatment services into routine HCV care to achieve timely treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere84
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023


  • Direct-acting antivirals
  • hepatitis C
  • people who inject drugs
  • time-to-treatment

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