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Hepatology ; 74(SUPPL 1):546A-547A, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1508687


Background: Increased hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing among people in prison (PIP) is key for HCV elimination efforts to be successful. Efforts to improve health care in all British Columbia (BC) Provincial Correctional Centres (PCCs) have been made in recent years, beginning with the transfer of health services from BC Corrections to BC Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in 2017. However, the state of emergency declared in BC in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may have undermined these efforts. This study aims to examine patterns in HCV screening and diagnosis in all 10 BC PCCs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Data from the BC Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections Data Mart, which contains laboratory data accounting for >95% of all anti-HCV and >99% of all HCV RNA and genotype tests performed in BC, were used for this study. The number of anti-HCV, HCV RNA and HCV genotype tests that were ordered from BC PCCs between April 1 2011 and March 31 2021 was determined for quarterly periods. New HCV diagnoses were defined as the number of 1st-time HCV-positive test episodes (anti-HCV, RNA or genotype) among HCV tests ordered from BC PCCs. Total intake numbers were provided by BC Corrections per calendar year. Results: The number of HCV antibody, RNA, and genotype tests ordered from BC PCCs in the 1st quarter of 2020 had increased by 412% (n=486), 530% (n=252) and 827% (n=139) respectively (Figure 1), compared to the 1st quarter of 2017 (prior to the transfer of health services to PHSA). Following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of HCV antibody, RNA, and genotype tests ordered from BC PCCs in the 2nd quarter of 2020 had decreased by 66% (n=165), 67% (n=83) and 68% (n=44), respectively (Figure 1), compared to the 1st quarter of 2020. The total number of HCV tests as a proportion of intakes to BC PCCs in 2019 was 17% (2518/15303), which increased to 23% (2112/9283) in 2020. Conclusion: The transfer of health services in BC PCCs to PHSA led to increased volume of HCV screening, with concomitant increases in new HCV diagnoses among PIP in BC from 4th quarter 2017 onwards. The COVID-19 pandemic led to health care challenges in prisons in BC (including the suspension of non-urgent HCV testing in the entire province for several weeks), and at the same time, the number of HCV tests and new diagnoses decreased. This may have been partly due to reduced intakes to BC PCCs over 2020, as the total number of HCV tests ordered as a proportion of intakes increased in 2020, compared to the previous year. Those people diverted away from the correctional system due to decarceration efforts triggered by COVID-19 may have missed out on HCV screening during 2020, therefore further efforts to increase HCV screening in correctional settings and the community will be needed.