Factors decreasing compliance with treatment of HCV- Logistical, financial or lack of awareness of the disease.
Keywords:Hepatitis C, HCV Elimination, Pakistan
Objective: To identify the fears and concerns regarding HCV amongst people presenting to a free screening camp and to identify the barriers preventing patients from linkage to care (seeking medical care for HCV). Study Design: Cross Sectional study. Setting: Gajrakh District, Gujranwala. Period: 15th February to 14th March 2019. Material & Methods: Questionnaire was filled by all the participants attending free screening and treatment camp. Questionnaire explored socio-demographic features, financial status, knowledge regarding awareness of disease e.g. risk factors for transmission of disease, possible complications of disease, fears regarding diagnosis &treatment of HCV and possible concerns of female population. Results: This study included 100 participants, 58% were females and 42% were males with a mean age of 46.23±12.36. Fifty seven percent of the participants were laborer, 15 were salary based, 6 were shopkeepers and 7 were housewives. Majority of participants have a sound knowledge about transmission of HCV i.e 95% said yes to the question about spread via ear/nose piercing by unsterilized needles, however, 49% and 61% think that hugging the patient and eating and drinking with patient also caused viral spread respectively. Most important factors contributing to inability to start treatment were inability to bear cost, missing of daily wages, lack of transport, fear of side effects and fear of being outcast in 75, 66, 41, 26 and 25% respectively. Conclusion: Socioeconomic factors like costly treatment, missing of daily wages, lack of transport, fear of side effects and being outcast are real hindrance in getting HCV treatment.
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