Theme: Models of Care Year: 2019
Background: Amongst people living with HIV (PLHIV), HCV has almost been eliminated in Australia.
Gaps exist amongst people experiencing homelessness, people who inject drugs (PWID), indigenous
communities, prisoners, gay/bisexual men. The HIV sector is well-organized, with Partnership
models optimizing care linkages, health promotion, harm minimization. Integrating HCV care into a
Partnership between an HIV and Homelessness Nursing Program and an HIV/AIDS Service
Organization (ASO) is a practical initiative. We describe a model that could be harnessed to scale-up
the response to eliminate HCV as a major public health threat by 2030, in line with World Health
Model of Care: HIV Nursing Program (HIVNP) at Bolton Clarke (BC) is a domiciliary service, within
BC’s Homeless Persons Program (HPP), with a formal Partnership with a community-based ASO –
Thorne Harbour Health. This globally unique Partnership provides integrated services for PLHIV,
~30% of whom have HCV, within a social model of health. Services include:
• HIV/HPP nursing, 24-hour support, outreach
• Sexual health, blood borne virus clinic
• Needle/syringe programs
• Alcohol/other drugs
• Rapid testing
• Peer and volunteer support
Effectiveness: This Partnership model offers coordinated pathways to holistic healthcare, seamless
access, health interventions for PWID, and continuity, optimizing retention in care.
Of a sample of 51 PLHIV, 15 had HCV. All were successfully linked to care. They received weekly or
daily nursing visits for adherence support and healthcare.
Conclusion, next steps: In line with 5th Australian National Hepatitis C Strategy, this Partnership
represents a blueprint to ‘engage priority populations in education and awareness of HCV’ through
integrated services. The model could readily incorporate HCV care for all, not only PLHIV, utilizing
existing networks. Stronger Partnerships with the HCV sector will enhance this response. The future
inclusion of Nurse Practitioners will enable collaborative expansion to test, treat and cure HCV.
Disclosure of Interest Statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest. No pharmaceutical
grants were received in the development of this study.