Success Stories: Unite to End the HIV and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics

As part of this year’s Unite to End the HIV and Viral Hepatitis Epidemics Chair’s Challenge, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released the second installment in a series of success stories collected from around the nation. This installment features programs from Michigan, North Carolina, and Philadelphia and highlights their health department’s efforts to bolster Data to Care (D2C) activities in their jurisdictions.

  1. “Link-Up Detroit,” a collaboration between The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Detroit Health Department (DHD), uses Data to Care (D2C) to identify people who are living with HIV (PLWH) but are not in medical care (NIC) and connect them with medical providers and community-based organizations (CBOs). The program uses letters, texts, and phone calls to reach NIC individuals, and a robust data tracking system that crosses eHARS, CAREWare, and ACCESS.
  2. North Carolina’s Engagement in Care Database for HIV Outreach (NC ECHO) is a database that collects standardized data on PLWH from five NC DHHS data sources. The database generates an out-of-care list each month and assigns names to state and regional bridge counselors for follow up. Since its inception, NC ECHO has assigned 1,908 individuals to state and/or regional bridge counselors.
  3. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) launched a Perinatal Hepatitis C Program (PHCP) in January 2016 in response to the increasing incidence of HCV infection among pregnant women, driven by the opioid epidemic. The PHCP identifies HCV-positive pregnant women and contacts them to assess their knowledge of perinatal transmission, encourage them to seek care for HCV, and request permission to coordinate post-natal follow up between their prenatal providers and pediatricians. The program has successfully highlight the risks of HCV exposure while also identifying the need for education amongst pediatric providers regarding HCV testing methods.

These programs illustrate how health departments may partner with providers, community partners, and other local health departments to improve access to HIV and HCV prevention, screening, and linkage to care services via D2C modalities. They also assert the importance of being robust, timely, and nimble as a foundation to effectively targeting services to the individuals that would most benefit. Additional Chair’s Challenge resources, including previously featured success stories, can be found here.

For more information about these initiatives, please contact NASTAD’s Amanda Bowes.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments’ best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO’s communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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