Hep C Free Baleares

Eliminating hepatitis C on the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza): a study in governmental and non-governmental addiction service centres, a mobile methadone unit and a prison to test and link people who use drugs to HCV care.

Jeffrey Lazarus (ISGlobal)
Gilead Sciences HCV-STAT Programme

The objective of this study is to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands using the micro-elimination approach. The project aims to reach patients with a history of drug use who are treated in the different governmental and non-governmental addiction service centres, a mobile methadone unit, or are in prison, in order to test and link people who use drugs to HCV care.

The purpose of this project is to diagnose and treat hepatitis C in this key population group with a new model of care that simplifies the current diagnosis process and facilitates linkage to care and subsequent treatment initiation. In the different addiction services centres (Unitats de Conductes Addictives; UCAs), patients will be screened for HCV using a saliva-based rapid detection test (Oraquick®, Orasure Technologies Inc.,) to detect the presence of HCV antibodies (HCV Ab) followed by a dried blood spot (DBS) sample to confirm viremia (HCV-RNA).

Treatment will be prescribed by a hepatologists to those patients who are positive for the infection via telemedicine and will be delivered and administered at the same addiction services centres. To confirm the completion of treatment and sustained virologic response (SVR), in addition to possible reinfections, monitoring utilizing DBS will be carried out for up to a year after treatment completion.

The project commenced its testing activities in April 2021 and plans to scale up to all 17 sites throughout the year.

This project is led by the ISGlobal Health Systems Research group with Dr Àngels Vilella (Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitari Son Llàtzer) and Dr Maria Buti (Hospital Vall d'Hebron) in collaboration with  Hospital Universitari Son Espases, Hospital Comarcal d'Inca, Hospital Comarcal de Manacor (Mallorca), Hospital General Mateu Orfila (Menorca), and Hospital Can Misses (Ibiza), and is funded through the competitive research call HCV STAT, by Gilead Sciences.


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ISGlobal Team

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