Publication: Real-world monitoring progress towards the elimination of hepatitis C virus in Australia using sentinel surveillance of primary care clinics; an ecological study of hepatitis C virus antibody tests from 2009 to 2019

02 September 2022
Journal epi and infect

This study used data from 12 primary care clinics in Victoria, Australia, that provide services to people who inject drugs and participate in ACCESS. This ecological study spanned 2009–2019 and included analyses of trends in annual numbers of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody tests among individuals with no previous positive HCV antibody test recorded and annual test yield (positive HCV antibody tests/all HCV antibody tests). Overall, the number of tests undertaken each year increased. The test yield declined then remained stable between 2013 and 2019 at around 10%. Importantly, among patients with a history of a prescription for opioid agonist therapy, test yield was greater than 50% between 2009 and 2019. What we learn from this study is that hepatitis C antibody testing is an important activity in these clinics, particularly among patients accessing treatment for opioid use, and it is key testing activity continues or is even increased, to ensure patients receive a timely diagnosis of hepatitis C and access to treatment.

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