1758. Feasibility and Acceptability of Rapid Hepatitis C Virus Testing in a Criminal Justice Setting
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Viral Infections; Pathogenesis and Epidemiology
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Room: The Moscone Center: Poster Hall C
  • Slide1.PNG (774.5 kB)
  • Background: Criminal justice populations have increased rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV); yet there is insufficient testing of inmates. There is an urgent need to expand HCV testing in correctional facilities to increase knowledge of serostatus, deliver education, and facilitate evaluation for treatment. We conducted a study among inmates of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) to explore the feasibility and acceptability of 1) rapid HCV testing facilitated by a pre-test educational video, and 2) referral to community care after release for persons with newly diagnosed HCV.

    Methods: Short-term RIDOC inmates with unknown HCV status (N=197) were recruited. Participants 1) completed a baseline risk assessment, 2) viewed a pretest counseling video that reviewed HCV prevention, transmission, testing procedures, and a brief overview of HCV care and treatment, and 3) completed an OraQuick® rapid HCV test. Participants with a reactive rapid test had an HCV viral load for confirmation. Those with confirmed HCV infection were referred for HCV assessment in the community after release. We summarized baseline characteristics of participants and HCV test results; stratified baseline characteristics by HCV test result; and summarized community referral outcomes.

    Results: 197 participants were enrolled and completed HCV testing. Participants were 97% male, 3% female; 47% White, 12% African-American, 23% Hispanic. The mean age was 33. 23/197 (12%) of participants had reactive rapid test results. Those with reactive tests were more likely to have a history of injection drug use (p<.0001), identify as White (p<.05), and lack health insurance prior to incarceration (p<.05). Among those with reactive rapid tests, 73% were confirmed to have chronic infection; these participants were referred to community care after release, but only 1 participant has linked to care.

    Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of HCV among this incarcerated population, and rapid HCV testing appears to be both feasible and acceptable in this setting. Expansion of HCV testing in correctional facilities is necessary in order to identify HCV-infected persons, and new and innovative approaches are needed to enhance linkage to HCV care for those leaving the incarcerated setting.

    Curt Beckwith, MD1, Irene Kuo, PhD2, Lauri Bazerman, MS3, Emily Patry3, Alice Cates, MS2, Liem Tran, MS3, Emily Liu3, Kimberle C. Chapin, MD4, Fred Vohr, MD5, Claudia Trezza, MPH2 and Ann Kurth, PhD6, (1)Medicine, Alpert Medical School of Brown University/The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, (2)Sch. of Publ. Health and Health Services, George Washington University, Washington, DC, (3)Division of Infectious Diseases, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, (4)Pathology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, (5)Rhode Island Department of Corrections, Cranston, RI, (6)New York University, College of Nursing, New York, NY


    C. Beckwith, None

    I. Kuo, None

    L. Bazerman, None

    E. Patry, None

    A. Cates, None

    L. Tran, None

    E. Liu, None

    K. C. Chapin, None

    F. Vohr, None

    C. Trezza, None

    A. Kurth, None

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PST, Oct. 2nd with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.