A sizable majority of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) at a New York City methadone clinic told researchers they were willing to undergo treatment for the virus. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, researchers surveyed 320 methadone users about their hep C knowledge and interest in treatment.

A total of 6.9 percent of the participants reported injection drug use during the previous six months, while 37.3 percent reported non-injection drug use during that period. A total of 46.3 percent of the participants tested positive for hep C. Out of this group, 78 percent said they were willing to receive hep C education and also to undergo hep C treatment. The most common reason participants shied away from treatment was a fear of side effects.

The participants were generally knowledgeable about the virus, with 54.7 percent correctly answering five or more of the seven questions that tested hep C-related knowledge. There was a correlation between such knowledge and willingness to receive treatment.

“These new findings support the premise that addiction-treatment facilities can help provide sustained HCV treatment for this population,” study senior author Andrew Talal, MD, of the University of Buffalo at the State University of New York, said in a release. “These facilities have the added advantage of being able to link HCV care to drug treatment, allowing for closer patient evaluation, which will likely lead to improved adherence to treatment regimens.”

To read the news release, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.