Injection drug use and hepatitis C: Interventions in behavioral health settings

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/622052
Title:
Injection drug use and hepatitis C: Interventions in behavioral health settings
Authors:
Sutton, Marie
Abstract:
Background: Georgia is experiencing a crisis of injection drug use and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. From 2002 to 2014, the statewide drug overdose mortality rate increased, with nearly every county experiencing a significant increase in drug overdose mortality. Especially concerning is the rising HCV infection rate in people younger than 30, many of whom inject drugs. HCV incidence in young people increased over 200% in Georgia from 2006 to 2012. CDC officials have suggested “…Georgia is experiencing an expanding epidemic of heroin use that is driving an increase in injection drug use, putting many more at risk for the spread of HIV and HCV infection.” Methods: Now in its second year, Imagine Hope is a Georgia-wide project that includes 20 agencies (8 methadone clinics, 12 abstinence based agencies) serving substance-using populations. It offers free routine HCV testing and linkage to care. Nearly all individuals served inject drugs. The agencies have implemented a novel combination of embedding routine HCV testing into services; tandem testing for HCV and HIV; linking individuals to HCV care and treatment; and providing access to two support groups. Results: Over 18 months, 6,136 consumers received HCV antibody testing. Of those, 677 (11%) were HCV antibody positive (Ab+), with 83% of them born outside the baby-boomer cohort. To confirm HCV status, clinics conducted RNA tests, completing 464 such tests that yielded 381 (82.1%) confirmed cases of HCV. Currently, the project has linked 102 (36.8%) confirmed HCV+ clients to care and treatment services, with 12 (11.8%) clients experiencing total remission. Conclusions: Among intravenous drug users, HCV prevalence is high, while infection awareness is low. Navigators and support groups enhance linkage. Connecting a population of mostly uninsured behavioral health clients to care is feasible. Providing HCV RNA confirmatory testing in the behavioral health setting greatly enhances the linkage to care process.
Affiliation:
Imagine Hope INC
Publisher:
Georgia Public Health Association
Journal:
Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association
Issue Date:
2017
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/622052
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
jGPHA Volume 7, Number 1

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSutton, Marieen
dc.date.accessioned2019-01-30T04:39:59Z-
dc.date.available2019-01-30T04:39:59Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10675.2/622052-
dc.description.abstractBackground: Georgia is experiencing a crisis of injection drug use and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. From 2002 to 2014, the statewide drug overdose mortality rate increased, with nearly every county experiencing a significant increase in drug overdose mortality. Especially concerning is the rising HCV infection rate in people younger than 30, many of whom inject drugs. HCV incidence in young people increased over 200% in Georgia from 2006 to 2012. CDC officials have suggested “…Georgia is experiencing an expanding epidemic of heroin use that is driving an increase in injection drug use, putting many more at risk for the spread of HIV and HCV infection.” Methods: Now in its second year, Imagine Hope is a Georgia-wide project that includes 20 agencies (8 methadone clinics, 12 abstinence based agencies) serving substance-using populations. It offers free routine HCV testing and linkage to care. Nearly all individuals served inject drugs. The agencies have implemented a novel combination of embedding routine HCV testing into services; tandem testing for HCV and HIV; linking individuals to HCV care and treatment; and providing access to two support groups. Results: Over 18 months, 6,136 consumers received HCV antibody testing. Of those, 677 (11%) were HCV antibody positive (Ab+), with 83% of them born outside the baby-boomer cohort. To confirm HCV status, clinics conducted RNA tests, completing 464 such tests that yielded 381 (82.1%) confirmed cases of HCV. Currently, the project has linked 102 (36.8%) confirmed HCV+ clients to care and treatment services, with 12 (11.8%) clients experiencing total remission. Conclusions: Among intravenous drug users, HCV prevalence is high, while infection awareness is low. Navigators and support groups enhance linkage. Connecting a population of mostly uninsured behavioral health clients to care is feasible. Providing HCV RNA confirmatory testing in the behavioral health setting greatly enhances the linkage to care process.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherGeorgia Public Health Associationen
dc.subjecthepatitis cen
dc.subjectinjection drug useen
dc.subjectHCV Rapid Testingen
dc.titleInjection drug use and hepatitis C: Interventions in behavioral health settingsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentImagine Hope INCen
dc.identifier.journalJournal of the Georgia Public Health Associationen
All Items in Scholarly Commons are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.