The Health Resources and Services Administration’s HIV/AIDS Bureau has presented findings and lessons from a four-year demonstration project that supported 29 organizations implementing focused interventions designed to increase access to and completion of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment for people also living with HIV. Among the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States, approximately 25%–about 300,000 people–are also coinfected with chronic hepatitis C. The Hepatitis C Treatment Expansion Initiative was supported by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) and offers lessons and tools that can help build system capacity and expand client access to curative hepatitis C treatment in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP).
Some lessons learned from the program include:
- Multidisciplinary teams were needed to ensure that all aspects of care and treatment were adequately and appropriately addressed.
- A monthly telehealth-based community of practice for clinical providers was well-attended, highly valued by participants, and a key component to helping providers feel comfortable with initiating hepatitis C treatment for PLWH.
- This SPNS initiative prepared RWHAP-funded clinical care sites to develop standardized systems for diagnosis, care and treatment of PLWH coinfected with hepatitis C. This preparation will be extremely valuable in the era of highly effective treatments with direct-acting antivirals.
- Now that there are interferon-free direct acting antiviral therapies, we can anticipate a greater uptake of treatment for hepatitis C among RWHAP-funded clinical providers and their patients.
Read more about these findings here.