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Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus services offered by substance abuse treatment programs in the United States.
Bini EJ1, Kritz S, Brown LS Jr, Robinson J, Calsyn D, Alderson D, Tracy K, McAuliffe P, Smith C, Rotrosen J.
Although substance abuse treatment programs are important contact points for providing health services for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, availability of services in these programs has not been well characterized. This study evaluated the spectrum of HBV and HCV services offered by substance abuse treatment programs within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. Our survey of substance abuse treatment program administrators covered availability of testing for HBV and HCV; hepatitis A virus (HAV) and HBV immunization; and HCV medical and nonmedical services. There were also questions covering clarity of guidelines for HBV and HCV testing and HAV and HBV immunization. Differences between methadone and nonmethadone programs were examined. Despite the importance of substance abuse in sustaining the hepatitis epidemics, few programs offer comprehensive HBV and HCV testing or HCV health care services. Interventions to improve access to hepatitis services for substance-abusing patients are needed.