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Same-day Test-and-Treat Model for Hepatitis C Among Rural People who Inject Drugs

Despite advancements in hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, low uptake among hard-to-reach populations remains a global issue.

A study, published in Harm Reduction Journal, assessed the feasibility of a modified same-day test-and-treat model in improving HCV care for people who inject drugs (PWID) living in resource-constrained rural areas.

The pilot study was conducted in four primary healthcare (PHC) centers in Malaysia. The model’s key features included on-site HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) testing using a shared GeneXpert® system; noninvasive biomarkers for cirrhosis diagnosis; and extended care to PWID referred from nearby PHC centers and outreach programs. The feasibility assessment focused on three aspects of the model: demand (i.e., uptake of HCV RNA testing and treatment), implementation (i.e., achievement of each step in the HCV care cascade), and practicality (i.e., ability to identify PWID with HCV and expedite treatment initiation despite resource constraints).

Full study results can be accessed here.