The OraSure HCV Grant Program is a recently announced funding opportunity designed to foster innovative approaches to hepatitis C (HCV) testing. The program is seeking proposals that demonstrate the effective use of rapid HCV screening in identifying positive individuals in a specific public healthcare setting and linking those individuals into care. Award recipients will receive (up to) 300 OraQuick® HCV Rapid Antibody Test Kits and (up to) $5,000 in funding to support data collection and analysis. Please visit the project website for more information, including the program rules and eligibility requirements, and to apply. Applications must be completed and submitted by September 1, 2016.
HCV is a growing health crisis in the United States, with deaths from HCV exceeding those of 60 other infectious diseases, including HIV and tuberculosis, combined. Baby Boomers (individuals born between 1945 and 1965) and people who inject drugs are the most significantly impacted by HCV infection, and while an estimated 3.5 million people in the US have HCV, only about 50% of them are aware they are infected. Testing is the first step to addressing this lack of awareness and the first step in linking HCV-positive persons to curative treatment and harm reduction resources. The OraSure HCV Grant Program is an opportunity to support implementation of HCV testing to increase the number of HCV-positive individuals who are aware of their status and who are able to take steps to treat their infection and to prevent further spread of HCV.