Models of care in custodial settings

Prison populations in Australia have a high prevalence of HCV infection, estimated at 30%,12 which reflects the close relationship between injecting drug use, HCV infection and incarceration. Although treatment uptake in custodial settings across Australia was extremely low before March 2016, incarceration presents a unique opportunity for HCV therapy due to improved direct access to health care and stable accommodation. Both Australian and international studies have demonstrated the safety, feasibility and acceptability of nurse-led models of IFN-based HCV treatment in prison populations,7,13,14 supported by specialist teleconferencing. With newer DAA regimens, the ease of treatment has been considerably enhanced in this setting. Treatment of prisoners is a priority to reduce the incidence of HCV transmission. 

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