Community-based HCV screening: knowledge and attitudes in a high risk urban population.

Published online

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: In an attempt to curtail the rising morbidity and mortality from undiagnosed HCV (hepatitis C virus) in the United States, screening guidelines have been expanded to high-risk individuals and persons born 1945-1965. Community-based screening may be one strategy in which to reach such persons; however, the acceptance of HCV testing, when many high-risk individuals may not have access to HCV specific medications, remains unknown. METHODS: We set out to assess attitudes about HCV screening and knowledge about HCV disease at several community-based testing sites that serve high-risk populations. This assessment was paired with a brief HCV educational intervention, followed by post-education evaluation. RESULTS: Participants (n = 140) were surveyed at five sites; two homeless shelters, two drug rehabilitation centers, and a women's "drop-in" center. Personal acceptance of HCV testing was almost unanimous, and 90% of participants reported that they would still want to be tested even if they were unable to receive HCV treatment. Baseline hepatitis C knowledge was poor; however, the brief educational intervention significantly improved knowledge and increased acceptability of testing when medical access issues were explicitly stated. CONCLUSIONS: Despite inconsistencies in access to care and treatment, high-risk communities want to know their HCV status. Though baseline HCV knowledge was poor in this population, a brief on-site educational intervention improved both knowledge and acceptability of HCV testing and care. These data support the establishment of programs that utilize community-based screening, and also provide initial evidence for acceptance of the implementation of the recently expanded screening guidelines among marginalized communities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Norton, BL; Voils, CI; Timberlake, SH; Hecker, EJ; Goswami, ND; Huffman, KM; Landgraf, A; Naggie, S; Stout, JE

Published Date

  • February 10, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 /

Start / End Page

  • 74 -

PubMed ID

  • 24512462

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24512462

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2334

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/1471-2334-14-74

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • England