|Title:||A complex increase in hepatitis C virus in a correctional facility: bumps in the road||Authors:||Merone, Lea
Edwards, Wanjibung Shaun
|Issue Date:||2022||Source:||Merone L, Ashton S, Harris A, Edwards WS, Preston-Thomas A, Gair R, Russell DB. A complex increase in hepatitis C virus in a correctional facility: bumps in the road. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2022 Apr 18. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.13238. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35435996.||Journal:||Australian and New Zealand journal of public health||Abstract:||The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in correctional facilities in Australia among people who inject drugs is 60%, with disproportionate effects observed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Following the micro-elimination of HCV in a Queensland correctional facility (QCF), newly acquired cases began to increase in mid-2019. Here we discuss the public health response to increasing HCV in a QCF. Enhanced surveillance was performed to obtain contextual outbreak data on risk factors including injecting drug use, sharing of personal hygiene equipment and do-it-yourself-tattooing. In the sixteen months, there were 250 notifications of new and re-infected HCV infections in prisoners in the QCF. Qualitative data revealed the leading factor in transmission to be injecting drug use. Drivers for increased HCV transmission in correctional facilities include boredom, waiting lists for opioid substitution programs, changes in injecting behaviours and sharing of injecting paraphernalia. Point-of-care testing combined with education and the development of a needle and syringe program may be promising ways forward for managing HCV in correctional facilities. Correctional facilities are key locations to target sexually transmitted infection (STI) and blood-borne virus (BBV) testing and treatment as well as health promotion to improve the health of inmates and the communities they return to.||Description:||Cairns & Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) affiliated authors: Lea Merone, Sian Ashton, Andy Harris, Wanjibung Shaun Edwards, Annie Preston-Thomas, Richard Gair, Darren B. Russell||DOI:||10.1111/1753-6405.13238||Keywords:||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander;hepatitis C;injecting drugs;prison||Type:||Article|
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