Implementing Community-Based Models of Hepatitis C Care to Achieve Elimination: The Tasmanian Eliminate Hepatitis C Australian Outreach Project

Author: Megan Hughes Joshua Dawe Jacqui Richmond Louise Owen

Theme: Clinical Research Year: 2022

Background/Approach: The Tasmanian Eliminate Hepatitis C Australian Outreach Project (TEHCAO)
commenced in May 2020, providing community-based, nurse-led hepatitis C outreach model of care.
The aim of the TEHCAO project is to establish hepatitis C testing and treatment pathways outside of
tertiary settings, and reach people at-risk and living with hepatitis C in Tasmania. The project
provides hepatitis C education, testing and linkage to treatment for people from priority populations
in Tasmania.
Analysis/Argument: Nurse outreach clinics are available at needle and syringe program and alcohol
and other drug services to increase access to testing and treatment for people who are at-risk of
hepatitis C. The TEHCAO project has partnered with State-wide Mental Health Services (SMHS) to
establish HCV screening and treatment pathways for all clients of this service.
Outcomes/Results: In the NSP setting, the outreach nurse has provided hepatitis C education to 505
clients. 241 venepunctures have been performed, of which 22 (9%) clients have tested HCV RNA
positive. Among the 22 HCV RNA positive clients, 19 (86%) have commenced treatment. 18 clients
have been identified as HCV RNA positive through the SMHS partnership, of which 100% have
commenced treatment. Eight referrals have been received through Sexual Health Services for HCV
RNA positive clients, of which six (75%) have commenced treatment. Overall, 48 clients have been
identified through the TEHCAO project, of which 44 (92%) clients have commenced treatment.
Conclusions/Applications: The TEHCAO project provides person-centred, accessible hepatitis C care
in the priority settings of mental health, needle and syringe program and alcohol and other drug
services. A key advantage of outreach clinics is that the care provided is in environments that are
familiar and convenient to people. The individualised approach of the TEHCAO project has been
effective in identifying people living with hepatitis C and assisting them to commence treatment.
Disclosure of Interest Statement: The Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia Partnership is funded through
the Paul Ramsay Foundation with support from the Burnet Institute.

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