Sunday, March 27, 2016

Implementation of Rapid HIV & HCV Testing Within Harm Reduction Programs for People Who Inject Drugs

Including HCV and HIV rapid tests in harm reduction programmes (HRP) for people who inject drugs (PWID) can increase detection of these infections in high-risk populations who do not seek conventional health care.

To assess acceptability and feasibility of rapid HIV and HCV tests in HRP; to identify HIV and HCV prevalence rates in HRP; to identify the percentage of PWID with a reactive test that attend hospital for confirmation and follow-up. Rapid oral tests for HCV and HIV were offered to users of 13 HRP from both mobile units and facility-based centres. 

A total of 172 HCV and 198 HIV tests were performed, with a refusal rate of 1.7% and 10.4%, respectively. Injectors made up 64.9% of all drug users and 35.1% did not inject drugs. Overall, 20.3% of HCV tests and 2.5% of HIV test were reactive. Only 24 of the 35 reactive HCV could be confirmed (68.6%) and one was false-negative. Of the five HIV reactive cases, only two could be confirmed (40%) with 1 false-positive case.

 Acceptability of rapid HIV and HCV tests among HRP users was high. The usefulness of oral rapid tests in HRP has been demonstrated, especially in mobile HRP.

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By:  Fernàndez-López L1,2,3Folch C1,2,3Majó X4Gasulla L4Casabona J1,2,3,5.
  • 1 Centre for Epidemiological Studies on HIV/STI in Catalonia (CEEISCAT) , Institut Catala d'Oncologia (ICO), Agencia de Salut Publica de Catalunya (ASPC), Generalitat de Catalunya , Badalona , Spain.
  • 2 CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP) , Madrid , Spain.
  • 3 Fundació Institut d'Investigacio Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP) , Badalona , Spain.
  • 4 Subdirecció General de Drogodependències , Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya , Barcelona , Spain.
  • 5 Departament de Pediatria, d'Obstetricia i Ginecologia i de Medicina Preventiva i de Salut Publica , Univ Autonoma Barcelona , Badalona , Spain. 
  •  2016 Mar 23:1-5. 

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