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Addressing Hepatitis C in the American Incarcerated Population: Strategies for Nationwide Elimination

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the US incarcerated population is disproportionately high, and when inmates with infection are released back into the general population, they play a substantial role in the spread of disease. This review provides support for targeting the jail/prison population to eliminate HCV in the general population. It will also summarize various screening/treatment models to curtail the burden of disease behind and beyond bars.

Recent Findings

Transitioning from risk-based testing to opt-out testing in prisons/jails would be cost-effective through greater identification of cases and treatment to prevent complications from cirrhosis. Other innovative strategies, such as the nominal pricing mechanism or the “Netflix” DAA subscription model, have the potential to be cost-effective and to increase access to treatment.

Summary

Addressing HCV in the incarcerated population is a strategy to bring the US closer to successfully eradicating the epidemic. Such findings should incentivize policymakers to implement care models that target this population.

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Correspondence to Selin Ocal.

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Selin Ocal and Andrew J. Muir declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ocal, S., Muir, A.J. Addressing Hepatitis C in the American Incarcerated Population: Strategies for Nationwide Elimination. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11904-019-00476-z

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Keywords

  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Incarcerated population
  • Correctional system
  • HCV testing and treatment
  • Opt-out testing
  • HCV elimination