WANADA's Hepatitis C Treatment Project
WANADA’s hepatitis C virus (HCV) project is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation as part of the Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia Partnership, co-ordinated by the Burnet Institute.
Key populations at risk of HCV infection and transmission, i.e. people who inject drugs, people who have injected drugs in the past, people who have spent time in prison, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, make up a significant percentage of people accessing specialist alcohol and other drug services.
Specialist alcohol and other drug services are uniquely placed to engage current and past injecting drug users, access peer networks, and reduce barriers to treatment (ensuring equity of access for hard to reach populations).
Targeted investment in the alcohol and other drug treatment sector has the potential to increase identification of chronic HCV (and cirrhosis), and to support equitable access to HCV treatment for alcohol and other drug service users.
The project aims to identify systems improvement opportunities within the alcohol and other drug service sector and, where possible, implement a routine approach to HCV education/information, testing and treatment access by service users.
WANADA has engaged metropolitan based alcohol and other drug organisations that have services across the state (regional, rural and remote) to participate in the project.
WANADA is working with each participating organisation to:
- complete a pre and post supported self-review against an assessment tool;
- determine any barriers to proactively providing HCV care – education/information and pathways to testing and treatment;
- identify organisational (and potentially collective) capability development opportunities;
- identify any potential risk(s) associated with enhanced service scope; and
- support the implementation of place/service based solutions identified by the organisations through self-review.
The anticipated outcomes of the project include:
- increased prioritisation of HCV care offered at alcohol and other drug services;
- increased access to testing and treatment by alcohol and other drug service users;
- increased access to peer co-designed information on HCV treatment; and
- improved working relationships between alcohol and other drug services and primary health providers.