Publications & Reports

Increasing hepatitis C testing and linkage to care: Results of a testing campaign with incentives at primary care clinics in Melbourne, Australia.

Chan K, Elsum I, Gold J, Layton C, Accadia L, Bryant M, Gunn J, Djordjevic F, Purcell I, Dicka J, Forrest M, Crawford S, Hellard M, Pedrana A; Eliminate Hepatitis C Partnership
Disease Elimination, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for hepatitis C (HCV) has been readily available since March 2016 in Australia. Around 80,000 people have been treated to date, however testing and treatment numbers have plateaued, and current rates may not be high enough to reach HCV elimination targets. In 2019, the Eliminate Hepatitis C Victoria Partnership worked with two community organizations and four primary health services with high caseloads of people who inject drugs (PWID) to implement a testing campaign that included financial incentives. Over nine campaign days, 91 people were tested including 57 (63%) who were regular clients of the services. One quarter of those tested were found to be HCV RNA positive indicating active HCV infection and of those, 10/24 (42%) had evidence of being prescribed DAA treatment in the three months following the campaign. The campaign appeared to be successful in testing people who were not actively engaged in HCV care, and increasing hepatitis C awareness.

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