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Virologica Sinica, 33 (4) : 295, 2018
Research Article
Hepatitis C in Laos: A 7-Year Retrospective Study on 1765 Patients
1. Centre d'Infectiologie Lao-Christophe Mérieux, Vientiane 3888, Laos
2. UMR 152 PHARMADEV, IRD, Université de Toulouse, UPS, Toulouse 31062, France
3. INSERM U1052, CNRS UMR 5286, Cancer Research Centre of Lyon, Lyon 69008, France
4. Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Hopitaux Universitaires Paris Seine Saint Denis, Bobigny 93000, France
5. Fondation Mérieux, Lyon 69002, France
6. Institut Pasteur, Unité "Organisation Nucléaire et Oncogenèse", INSERM U993, Paris 75015, France
 Correspondence: eric.deharo@ird.fr
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a global health concern, notably in Southeast Asia, and in Laos the presentation of the disease is poorly known. Our objective was thus to describe a comprehensive HCV infection pattern in order to guide national health policies. A study on a group of 1,765 patients formerly diagnosed by rapid test in health centres was conducted at the Centre of Infectiology Lao Christophe Merieux in Vientiane. The demographic information of patients, their infection status (viral load: VL), liver function (aminotransferases) and treatments were analysed. Results showed that gender distribution of infected people was balanced; with median ages of 53.8 for men and 51.6 years for women (13–86 years). The majority of patients (72%) were confirmed positive (VL > 50 IU/mL) and 28 % of them had high VL (> 6log10). About 23% of patients had level of aminotransferases indicative of liver damage (> 40 IU/mL); but less than 20 % of patients received treatment. Patients rarely received a second sampling or medical imaging. The survey also showed that cycloferon, pegylated interferon and ribavirin were the drugs prescribed preferentially by the medical staff, without following any international recommendations schemes. In conclusion, we recommend that a population screening policy and better management of patients should be urgently implemented in the country, respecting official guidelines. However, the cost of biological analysis and treatment are significant barriers that must be removed. Public health resolutions should be immediately enforced in the perspective of meeting the WHO HCV elimination deadline by 2030.
Received: 8 Sep 2018  Accepted: 8 Sep 2018  Published online: 29 Jun 2018
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