The EC Experience cohort is collecting data on the experiences of people who inject drugs, with a focus on experiences at primary health care services. The study will recruit from at least eight EC sites. EC Experience will target recruitment to people who have not been tested for hep C recently or have been diagnosed with hep C and not treated. Participants will be followed for 12 months to explore changing experiences over time.
This work will provide evidence for future EC activities that aim to overcome barriers to hepatitis C testing and treatment. EC Experience has completed recruitment at the first EC Experience site.
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The EC team have received funding to implement a new trial of pharmacy-based hepatitis C testing and treatment. The trial will allow clients of pharmacies dispensing OST to be tested hepatitis C and evaluated for treatment from within the pharmacy using a nurse-based model of care, and if eligible have their hepatitis C treatment provided alongside their daily OST dose.
The trial is set to commence in late 2019.
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In 2017 we conducted a Pilot Study to assess the acceptability and feasibility of providing rapid, point-of-care testing for hepatitis C in community clinics.
Rapid EC trialled new rapid hepatitis C tests, which can give you a result on the same day and where everything is done in the health centre – rather than having to wait for a laboratory blood test. These new tests may help reduce barriers to testing by speeding up the time to get a result and reducing the time to starting treatment. It might also mean reducing the need for a blood test for some people who are hepatitis C negative.
The trial was piloted at three sites:
- Health Works in Footscray
- Innerspace in Collingwood
- North Richmond Community Health in Richmond
This result from this pilot study will help inform better service delivery for hepatitis C care and increase access to testing and treatment.
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