Integrated Hepatitis C testing and linkage to care at a local health department STD clinic
Rhea, S., Sena, A., Hilton, A., Hurt, C., Wohl, D., & Fleischauer, A. T. (2017). Integrated Hepatitis C testing and linkage to care at a local health department STD clinic: Determining essential resources and evaluating outcomes. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000748
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–March 31, 2015, the program tested 733 patients for HCV who reported ≥1 HCV risk factor; 81 (11%) were HCV-infected (i.e., 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.