New Professional Resources for Providers to Address HIV/HCV Coinfection

Several new HIV-HCV coinfection resources for healthcare providers and others working with people living with HIV and HCV have recently been released by our federal partners. Here’s a quick roundup:

  • Myths About Treating Substance Users with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infographic: This new provider resource identifies common misconceptions associated with treating HCV in people who use drugs living with HIV. People with active substance use disorders have been cured of HCV and have low rates of reinfection. Yet provider myths about patient readiness and the cost-effectiveness of care present challenges and can delay the initiation of HCV treatment. This resource was developed by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program’s AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) HIV/HCV Coinfection Community of Practice & Learning as part of its HIV/HCV Co-infection: An AETC National Curriculum toolkit. The resource is available as a downloadable, printable and shareable flyer, and as a training slide set. Hard copies are in development and will be available soon. Access both formats here. (Read about the national curriculum in this prior blog post.)
  • Updated: Passport to Cure Brochure: This patient engagement brochure has been revised to include updated HCV medication information. Passport to Cure is an interactive patient engagement brochure to help clients track clinic visits and monitor their HCV treatment progress to achieve a sustained viral response. It is also a resource in the HIV/HCV Co-infection: An AETC National Curriculum toolkit. The updated versions are available in both English and Spanish. Currently available for download only, hard copies will be available soon.
  • HIV-HCV Coinfection Session from the 2018 National Ryan White Clinical Conference: HCV/HIV elimination is attainable nationally and worldwide. In his presentation at the December 2018 conference, David L. Thomas, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine advised clinicians to look at where their clinics were on the HCV treatment cascade (i.e., how many people have been diagnosed, referred, treated, and cured) as--much like the HIV care continuum--those who have yet to be effectively treated for HCV may be more difficult to reach. This will necessitate new clinic strategies, like intensive case management. View the slides from his session “Elimination of Hepatitis C in Individuals with HIV Infection.”
  • Updated HHS Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant Women with HIV Infection and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States: In early December 2018 HHS released updated Guidelines that included data about low uptake of hepatitis C virus testing for HCV-exposed infants indicating that there is a need for providers to counsel patients about the importance of pediatric follow-up and testing over the first few years of life. Read the full section on HIV/HCV Coinfection.
  • Viral Hepatitis Educational opportunities from CDC: Additional professional training resources are available from CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis. These online courses offer CME/CE credits and cover a variety of hepatitis B and hepatitis C topics.

Providers are key partners in national efforts to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate HCV coinfection among people living with HIV. These resources are designed to support providers in diverse settings effectively engage and remain up to date on how to make the best use of the range of tools now available to help us achieve this goal.

[Note from TheBodyPro: This article was originally published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 16, 2019.]