G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA; University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA. Electronic address: Mary.firstname.lastname@example.org.
G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA.
Atlanta VA Health Care System, Atlanta, GA, USA.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Although central to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic, many patients with both substance use disorders (SUD) and HCV have difficultly engaging in treatment for either condition. To facilitate HCV care in Veterans with active SUD, a comprehensive HCV screening, education, referral, and treatment program was integrated into a VA residential SUD treatment program.
Evaluation of HCV screening, education, referral, and treatment initiative among admissions to a residential SUD treatment program from December 2014 to April 2018.
To date, 97.49% (582/597) of admissions to the program have been screened for HCV infection, with 12.71% (74/582) of the cases confirmed HCV-positive, and 100% (74/74) of the positive cases being connected or re-connected to the infectious disease clinic for further evaluation and, if appropriate, to begin HCV pharmacotherapy. Importantly, 18.92% (14/74) of the HCV-positive cases were newly diagnosed and would have likely gone undetected without this program. Of the HCV-positive cases, 78.38% (58/74) have received pharmacotherapy, with a sustained virologic response rate of 82.76% (48/58).
Integrating comprehensive HCV care within a residential SUD treatment program using a collaborative care model can substantially increase the detection of previously undiagnosed infections, facilitate linkage to care, and promote HCV treatment uptake among HCV-infected Veterans with SUD.