Introduction: The availability of safe, effective treatments for hepatitis C virus infection has led to a call for the elimination of hepatitis C, but barriers to care persist. Methods: In July 2015, the Baltimore City Health Department sexual health clinics began on-site hepatitis C virus treatment. Investigators conducted a retrospective evaluation of the first 2.5 years of this program. Data were extracted from the medical record through June 2019, and data analysis was completed in September 2019. Results: Between July 2015 and December 2017, a total of 560 patients infected with hepatitis C virus accessed care at the Baltimore City Health Department sexual health clinics. Of these patients, 423 (75.5%) were scheduled for hepatitis C virus evaluation at the clinics, 347 (62.0%) attended their evaluation appointment, 266 (47.5%) were prescribed treatment, 227 (40.5%) initiated treatment, and 199 (35.5%) achieved sustained virologic response. Older age was independently associated with hepatitis C virus evaluation appointment attendance (aged 40–59 years: AOR=3.64, 95% CI=1.88, 7.06; aged ≥60 years: AOR=5.61, 95% CI=2.58, 12.21) compared with those aged 20–39 years. Among those who attended hepatitis C virus evaluation appointments, advanced liver disease was independently and positively associated with treatment initiation (AOR=11.89, 95% CI=6.35, 22.25). Conversely, illicit substance use in the past 12 months was negatively associated with hepatitis C virus treatment initiation (AOR=0.49, 95% CI=0.25, 0.96). Conclusions: The integration of hepatitis C virus testing and on-site treatment in public sexual health clinics is an innovative approach to improve access to hepatitis C virus treatment for medically underserved populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health