Building a Community - Academic Partnership to Enhance Hepatitis C Virus ScreeningIrvin R1*, McAdams-Mahmoud A1, Hickman D2, Wilson J2, Fenwick W2, Chen I3, Irvin N4, Falade-Nwulia O1, Sulkowski M1, Chaisson R1, Thomas DL1 and Mehta SH5
- *Corresponding Author:
- Risha Irvin
MD/MPH, Assistant Professor
Division of Infectious Diseases, Director
Generation Tomorrow, Center for AIDS Research
Johns Hopkins University, 725 N Wolfe Street
Room 218A, Baltimore, MD-21205, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: April 27, 2016; Accepted date: May 20, 2016; Published date: May 30, 2016
Citation: Irvin R, McAdams-Mahmoud A, Hickman D, Wilson J, Fenwick W, et al. (2016) Building a Community - Academic Partnership to Enhance Hepatitis C Virus Screening. J Community Med Health 6:431. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000431
Copyright: © 2016 Irvin R, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, the majority are unaware of their HCV diagnosis and few are treated. New models are required to diagnose and link HCV infected patients to HCV care. This paper describes an innovative partnership between Sisters Together and Reaching (STAR), Inc., a community organization, and Johns Hopkins University (JHU), an academic institution, for the identification of HCV cases.
Methods: STAR and JHU identified a mutual interest in increasing hepatitis C screening efforts and launched an HCV screening program which was designed to enhance STAR’s existing HIV efforts. STAR and JHU used the Bergen Model of Collaborative Functioning as theoretical framework for the partnership. We used descriptive statistics to characterize the study population and correlates of HCV antibody positivity were reported in univariable/ multivariable logistic regression.
Results: From July 2014 to June 2015, 325 rapid HCV antibody tests were performed in community settings with 49 (15%) positive HCV antibody tests. 33 of the 49 HCV antibody positive individuals answered questions about their HCV testing history and 42% reported a prior positive result but were not engaged in care and 58% reported that they were unaware of their HCV status. In multivariable analysis, factors that were significantly associated with screening HCV antibody positive were increasing age (AOR: 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.10), male sex (AOR: 5.56, 95% CI 1.92-14.29), and history of injection drug use (AOR: 39.3, 95% CI 15.20-101.49).
Conclusions: The community-academic partnership was successful in identifying individuals with hepatitis C infection through a synergistic collaboration. The program data suggests that community screening may improve the hepatitis C care continuum by identifying individuals unaware of their HCV status or aware of their HCV status but not engaged in care and linking them to care.