In the recent publication by Dawe et al. (2022) Hepatitis C antibody testing among opioid agonist therapy recipients, Victoria, Australia 2012 to 2020, in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Dawe et al. estimated the proportion of people who received a hepatitis C antibody test within 12 months of their first recorded prescription for opioid agonist therapy (OAT). Their analysis demonstrates that despite high antibody positivity, only one in five people receive a hepatitis C antibody test in the 12 months following their first recorded OAT prescription.
The findings of this study suggest multiple missed opportunities for testing, and reinforce the need to ensure people initiating OAT are offered a hepatitis C antibody test. Further integrating routine hepatitis C screening in primary care settings with high caseloads of OAT recipients is an important step in contributing to Australia’s hepatitis C elimination goals.