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Evaluating Women’s Preferences for Hepatitis C Treatment During Pregnancy

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There is a rising prevalence of hepatitis C (HCV) among women of child-bearing age nationally, which prompted a recommendation by national guidelines to screen all women for HCV during pregnancy. Women with HCV during pregnancy are at risk of perinatal transmission of HCV. Directly acting antiviral (DAA) therapy during pregnancy can potentially reduce the risk of perinatal transmission as well as cure women while they are engaged in antenatal care. However, data on the safety and efficacy of DAAs during pregnancy are limited. We aimed to evaluate the preferences of women with HCV regarding potential DAA treatment during pregnancy. We conducted a survey of women with a history of HCV followed in the University of California, San Francisco HCV clinic and in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (most of whom are coinfected with HIV) to determine their preferences for DAA treatment during pregnancy. A total of 141 women completed the survey. Sixty percent reported that they would be willing to take antepartum DAA therapy if it lowered the risk of perinatal transmission. Only 21% reported that they would agree to take DAA therapy during pregnancy for self-cure; 20% of women stated that they would not, yet indicated that they might change their minds if there were more human data available regarding use of DAAs during pregnancy. In multivariable analysis, having a previous history of taking DAAs and being of childbearing age at the time of the survey were associated with willingness to take DAA medication during pregnancy (odds ratios 4.29 and 4.11, respectively). Conclusion: These results point to the need for further investigation of the role of HCV therapy during pregnancy.

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