Background: Direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy is highly effective for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but reinfection following treatment may compromise benefits of cure. This study assessed the real-world effectiveness of treatment for reinfection.
Methods: Real-world effectiveness of antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis C (REACH-C) is an observational study evaluating treatment outcomes following sequential DAA initiations across 33 health services in Australia between March 2016-June 2019. Reinfection was defined by post-treatment genotype switch or HCV viraemia after sustained virologic response (SVR12).
Results: Of the 10,843 individuals initiating DAA therapy post-treatment viraemia was reported in 526 of whom 99 were reinfections. Treatment for reinfection occurred in 88 individuals. In those with available treatment outcomes, SVR12 was similar to initial treatment in the overall REACH-C cohort (95% vs 95%; p = 0.745) and comparable across primary, tertiary, and prison settings. Classifying unknown treatment outcomes as failures, SVR12 for treatment of reinfection was lower than initial treatment in REACH-C (67% vs 81%; p = 0.002), due to higher lost to follow-up.
Conclusions: Treatment of reinfection is highly effective and can be delivered in non-specialist settings. Access to treatment for reinfection in high-risk populations is crucial to HCV elimination.