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Robust data on hepatitis C virus (HCV) population prevalence are essential to inform national HCV services. In 2016, we undertook a survey to estimate HCV prevalence among the adult population in Ireland. We used anonymised residual sera available at the National Virus Reference Laboratory. We selected a random sample comprising persons ≥ 18 years with probability proportional to the general population age-sex distribution. Anti-HCV and HCV Ag were determined using the Architect anti-HCV and HCV Ag assays. Fifty-three of 3,795 specimens were seropositive (age-sex-area weighted seroprevalence 0.98% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73–1.3%)). Thirty-three specimens were HCV-antigen and antibody-positive (age-sex-area weighted prevalence of chronic infection 0.57% (95% CI: 0.40–0.81%)). The prevalence of chronic infection was higher in men (0.91%; 95% CI: 0.61–1.4%), in specimens from the east of the country (1.4%; 95%CI: 0.99–2.0%), and among persons aged 30–39 years and 40–49 years (1.1% (95% CI: 0.59–2.0%) and 1.1% (95% CI: 0.64–1.9%) respectively). Ireland ranks at the lower end of the spectrum of prevalence of chronic HCV infection internationally. Men born between 1965 and 1984 from the east of the country have the highest rate of chronic HCV infection.


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