groups » Hepatitis C Treatment and Care in Prisons Group » Hepatitis C Treatment and Care in Prisons Group - Introduction / Welcome
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global public health problem in correctional settings. Due to the intersection of substance use disorders and the criminal justice system, correctional settings have been disproportionately affected with HCV with prevalence rates that vary globally, but are several orders higher than the surrounding community in the majority of locations worldwide. Therefore, correctional settings are important sites for providing care along all phases of the HCV care continuum from screening, linkage to care, treatment, and prevention of reinfection.
The goal of this group is to open a forum for a discussion regarding best practices for HCV management in correctional settings. These include but are not limited to effective HCV screening strategies, facilitators and barriers to HCV treatment in corrections, and linkage to care following release.
We are entering an era in which exciting point of care technologies may facilitate HCV testing by combining screening/confirmation into one step. Direct acting antiviral therapies (DAAs) are now available with high cure rates and few side effects that can be given during a time of relative stability from competing priorities such as active substance use. Yet, uptake of HCV screening and DAA treatment has been slow in many correctional settings worldwide. Moreover, linkage to care following release has been proven to be challenging.
It is our hope that best practices from around the world will be shared here, so that we can learn from each other’s challenges and successes. We invite you to use this thread to post questions and share your experiences on HCV management in correctional settings. We look forward to your input on this topic.
Thanks for starting this group - I think it will be a really useful forum to share good practice.
Some of my clinicians are very interested in managing and treating Hep C in secure settings. I will signpost them here just in case they have anything to contribute, or indeed take away.
Thanks for opening up this group. I am currently completing a PhD looking at the diagnosis and treatment of HCV within London prisons. At present we are facing issues with continuity of care during release and prison transfer. Use of probation services to help re-engage individuals seems promising, but queries around information governance quickly arise. Does anyone have any insight or recommendations that they could share?