ECDC/EMCDDA Evidence-Based Guidance On Prevention And Control Of HCV In Prison Settings

Author: Tavoschi L, O’ Moore E, Hedrich D

Theme: Epidemiology & Public Health Research Year: 2018

Compared with the general public, people in prison have a higher prevalence of HCV
infection, not least due to the overrepresentation of people with drug use disorders in this
setting. Incarceration may represent a unique opportunity to make adequate healthcare
services available to groups underserved in the community. The European Centre for
Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and
Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) have developed a joint evidence-based public health guidance
for the prevention and control of HCV in prison settings in the EU/EEA.
A systematic review of the scientific evidence from peer-reviewed and grey literature
covering the period 1990-2017 has been performed by ECDC. The results were presented
and discussed with a panel of European experts in order to complement the gathered
evidence with expert advice and considerations on benefits and harms, human rights, equity,
ethics and user preferences.
The evidence base included 46 records reporting on HCV active case finding, prevention,
treatment, and throughcare in prison settings in the EU and other high income countries.
The resulting guidance provides countries with evidence-based options for planning and
implementing prevention and control interventions for HCV, directed at different subpopulations within the prison setting, alongside predictors of interventions uptake and
barriers to their implementation. The guidance includes a range of service delivery models
collected from EU/EEA countries (e.g. universal testing at entrance, safe-tattooing
interventions, harm reduction, directly active antivirals treatment scale-up).
There is evidence that the scale-up of HCV prevention and control in prison settings is
needed, including by promoting universal active case finding, expanding existing prevention
and harm reduction measures and increasing treatment coverage. Identification of evidencebased interventions and service delivery models may boost broader implementation in the
EU/EEA and beyond. Efforts to expand the evidence base on effective HCV prevention and
control interventions in prison settings are also needed.
Disclosure of Interest Statement:
The authors have no conflict of interest to declare. This study was funded by ECDC and
Note: If accepted into the programme you will be requested to include a disclosure of
interest slide into your presentation or include such statements in your poster.

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