Interventions to Curb Hepatitis C Reinfections Among Men Who Have Sex With Men

2019-11-13 17:56:46 | BioPortfolio


Men who have sex with men (MSM) who cured from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are at substantial risk of HCV reinfection. In this study, the investigators aim to evaluate the effectiveness of an online behavioural intervention, a home-based testing intervention and a combination of both on risk behaviour, and ultimately preventing HCV reinfection and onward spread of HCV.


Rationale: As highly effective therapy against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is available with rapid uptake, there is newfound optimism for HCV elimination. Nevertheless, HCV reinfections cause great concern in at risk populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM). In the Netherlands, MSM account for the majority of new HCV (re)infections. Although HCV treatment uptake is high in this group, modelling data indicate HCV elimination would not be feasible without a reduction in risk behaviour. This finding highlights the urgent need for effective interventions aimed at reducing risk behaviour and preventing reinfections in MSM.

Objective: To evaluate interventions aimed at reducing risk behaviour, and ultimately preventing HCV reinfections and onward spread of HCV.

Study design: Using a 3-arm randomised trial comparing run-in and intervention periods, we will evaluate the effect of two interventions and its combination on risk behaviour in MSM previously infected with HCV.

Study population: MSM aged 18 years or older with a history of a successfully treated or spontaneously cleared HCV infection.

Interventions: Intervention I is a targeted, online behavioural intervention developed as part of the project. Intervention II aims to increase the frequency of testing by offering an additional patient-initiated, home-based HCV RNA testing service with the use of self-sampled dried blot spots. Intervention III is a combination of intervention I and II.

Study parameters/endpoints: From run-in and post-randomization questionnaires, we will evaluate the proportion at risk of HCV infection (as determined by the HCV-MOSAIC score) as the primary outcome. The HCV-MOSAIC risk score is calculated by summing up the beta coefficients specific to six self-reported risk factors when present: receptive condomless anal sex (beta 1.1), sharing sex toys (beta 1.2), unprotected fisting (beta 0.9), injecting drug use (beta 1.4), sharing straws during nasally-administered drug use (beta 1.0), and ulcerative sexually transmitted infection (beta 1.4). Secondary outcomes include incidence of HCV reinfection, changes in the individual risk behaviour items and changes in sexual wellbeing.

Study Design


Hepatitis C Virus Infection


Behavioural intervention, HCV RNA home-based test


Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD Amsterdam)
1018 WT


Not yet recruiting


Public Health Service of Amsterdam

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-11-13T17:56:46-0500

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INFLAMMATION of the LIVER in humans caused by HEPATITIS C VIRUS, a single-stranded RNA virus. Its incubation period is 30-90 days. Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily by contaminated blood parenterally, and is often associated with transfusion and intravenous drug abuse. However, in a significant number of cases, the source of hepatitis C infection is unknown.

A species in the genus HEPATOVIRUS containing one serotype and two strains: HUMAN HEPATITIS A VIRUS and Simian hepatitis A virus causing hepatitis in humans (HEPATITIS A) and primates, respectively.

INFLAMMATION of the LIVER in humans due to infection by VIRUSES. There are several significant types of human viral hepatitis with infection caused by enteric-transmission (HEPATITIS A; HEPATITIS E) or blood transfusion (HEPATITIS B; HEPATITIS C; and HEPATITIS D).

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