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The HEPCO Cohort of People Who Inject Psychoactive Substances allows scientists and researchers to better understand the transmission, pathogenesis and treatment of Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV infections in people who use psychoactive substances. This cohort has accumulated more than 30 years of epidemiological and biological data and is affiliated to the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal Research Centre (CRCHUM).

Status: Recruiting participants

Context

Originally, it was designed with the goal of continuously recruiting people who inject psychoactive substances in order to better understand the individual and contextual factors of HIV transmission and to characterize the issues specific to treatment access and its effects. Since 2004, the objectives of the cohort have been revised to include studies on the natural history of HCV infection and re-infection. In 2015, a mental health section was added to study the relationships between mental health problems, including psychiatric diagnoses and mental states, and the transmission of HCV and HIV among people who inject substances.

Objectives

The computerized database and biological samples were set up for the identification and validation of mechanisms from clinical, virological and immunological parameters relevant to transmission, disease progression and immune responses. This bank is also associated with several network projects, and is part of the International Consortium of Prospective Hepatitis C Cohorts (NC3).

Funding

Researchers (epidemiology and public health)

Researchers (basic sciences)

For more information

For further information, contact the HEPCO team at hepco.chum@ssss.gouv.qc.ca.

Here is a timeline representing the early days of the cohort:

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