Table of Contents
Journal of Computational Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 347827, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/347827
Research Article

On the Role of Optimal Counseling and Antiviral Therapy on Controlling HCV among Intravenous Drug Misusers

Department of Mathematics, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Harare, Zimbabwe

Received 17 February 2014; Revised 20 May 2014; Accepted 4 June 2014; Published 25 June 2014

Academic Editor: Hon Keung Tony Ng

Copyright © 2014 Steady Mushayabasa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a major health challenge despite the availability of highly effective antiviral drugs. Prior studies suggest that many physicians are reluctant to treat intravenous drug misusers due to low levels of treatment adherence associated with intravenous drug misusers. HCV treatment guidelines and recommendations stipulate that HCV patients in treatment should abstain from intravenous drug misuse activities in order to reduce the likelihood of treatment failure, drug resistance, reinfection, superinfection, or mixed infection. In this paper, a mathematical model for exploring the transmission dynamics of HCV among intravenous drug misusers is proposed. The model incorporates essential characteristics of intravenous drug misusers such as relapse and nonadherence to treatment guidelines. With the aid of optimal control theory we assess the effects of time dependent HCV screening and treatment. Results from this study provide a framework for designing the appropriate strategies on controlling the long-term dynamics of HCV among intravenous drug users.