Integrated Hepatitis C Testing and Linkage to Care at a Local Health Department Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic: Determining Essential Resources and Evaluating Outcomes

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Abstract

Guidance about integration of comprehensive hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related services in sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics is limited. We evaluated a federally funded HCV testing and linkage-to-care program at an STD clinic in Durham County, North Carolina. During December 10, 2012, to March 31, 2015, the program tested 733 patients for HCV who reported 1 or more HCV risk factor; 81 (11%) were HCV-infected (ie, HCV antibody-positive and HCV ribonucleic acid-positive). Fifty-one infected patients (63%) were linked to care. We concluded that essential program resources include reflex HCV ribonucleic acid testing; a dedicated bridge counselor to provide test results, health education, and linkage-to-care assistance; and referral relationships for local HCV management and treatment.

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