Hepatitis C and Incarceration

Developing an HCV Model of Care for People Who Have Been Incarcerated

 

This project, in order to effect systemic change, is analyzing existing barriers in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) Cascade of Care that exist within provincial correctional facilities in Ontario and immediately upon release.

 

The project’s goal is to develop recommendations on the implementation of an HCV model of care which will create screening, treatment, and linkage to care pathways within the provincial correctional institutions of Ontario, and ensure continuity in healthcare engagement upon release.

 

The project aims to increase knowledge around barriers experienced by incarcerated/recently incarcerated individuals within provincial correctional facilities and immediately upon release; highlight best practices for testing and testing uptake, as well as linkage to care; raise awareness of the challenges and barriers; and identify specific problematic policies.

 

This project is a partnership between the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC), and Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN). Wider partnerships have also been central to the success of the project and we would like to thank everyone who took part for their support and input.

 

As a result of carrying out this work and the follow up advocacy, we are hopeful that the number of new or recurring infections will drop, and the number of people linked to/retained in care will increase. This will support Canada in achieving its WHO commitment to reduce hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030.

 

Read the policy briefing note, prepared in November 2019 by Amanda Fletcher, which forms part of the outputs of this project. A full paper will be released in 2020. For more information please contact info@ctac.ca

The project included a One –Day Dialogue, How Can We Connect the Dots? The Road Map to an HCV Model of Care for Those Experienced With/Experiencing Incarceration in Ontario.

 

The One-Day Dialogue was held in Toronto in October 2019 and included focus groups with service providers, presentations from leading hepatologists and nurses working with people who are incarcerated.

 

A highlight of the day was a panel discussion with people who had experienced incarceration and living with hepatits C.

 

The image to the right shows Dr. Fiona Kouyoumdjian, (Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster
University) presenting at the One-Day Dialogue.

 

The project has also engaged HCV service providers who work with individuals who have experienced incarceration, and further focus groups have been held with people who have been incarcerated in Ontario and are living/ have lived with hepatitis C.


 

This main funder of this project was Gilead Sciences. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Gilead Sciences.

 

Funding was also provided by AbbVie and Merck. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Gilead Sciences, AbbVie, or Merck.