Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Grand Hall area
Approximately one quarter of HIV-infected persons in the United States are also infected with hepatitis C virus(HCV). Hepatitis B and HIV are both transmitted through sexual contact while HIV, HBV and HCV are transmitted by injection drug use.
Outreach Screening for Hepatitis A, B and C at various community sites to target high risk individuals
Patients attending community outreach screenings at various sites in Palm Beach County.
Hepatitis project began in October 2005 at a STD clinic. In 2007, it was extended to community sites in cooperation with Substance Abuse Coalition and National HIV testing day. Various venues were established to target high risk groups. At these sites, patients are screened for Hepatitis A, B and C diseases, delivered education and risk reduction counseling and provided hepatitis vaccines.
In 2007, 536 (15%) people vs 60 ( 4%) were assessed during outreach activities. In 2007, 192 individuals answered having one or more risk factors for Hepatitis B and C disease. 117 (61%) of them were non-hispanic, 135 ( 70%) were white and 49 ( 26%) were black. Three of the patients( 1.7%) were Chronic Hepatitis B carriers and 24 (14%) were HCV positive among this group. 344 denied any risk factors, but 2 of them tested Chronic B carrier and 12 as HCV positive.
It took a few years to develop community partnerships to increase number of patients being screened
Patients are returning more often for results which allows additional education about hepatitis disease, modes of transmission and importance of vaccination
Staff education and training is key to accurately assess patients during pre-test and post-test sessions