Universal access for treatment of Hepatitis C, including the access of active drug users who inject drugs
According to behavioural research carried so far among drug users, around 75% of the tested active drug users who inject drugs are HCV positive in Republic of Macedonia. Despite knowing this fact, active drug users do not have access to treatment of Hepatitis C, since there is a precondition that they have to fulfill - they have to have abstained from drugs for at least 12 months and/or to be enrolled at some of the drug dependence treatment programs. As a main reason for the existence of this precondition, health professionals point out the risk of possible reinfection, which would also mean wasted resources and unnecessary spendings.
This question caused heated discussion and opposed positions among participants on the second day of the conference ““Availability of Hepatitis C treatment to drug users in the Republic of Macedonia – good practices and challenges”. For more information, watch the related video.