STUDY Abstract: THU-078 Testing and linkage to care outcomes in baby boomers versus young adults tested in the community and linked to care at a Federally Qualified Health Center in the US – L. Magadi, et al.
Study Aims and Results: To understand the differences in hepatitis C (HCV) testing and linkage to care among baby boomers (1945 – 1965) and young adults (1982 – 1999—predominately among people who inject drugs). The study was conducted in community-based settings in Philadelphia, PA between October 2016 and September 2017.
There were 1,349 adults—718 (53%) baby boomers and 631 (47%) young adults were tested. Those who tested HCV antibody positive were offered a confirmatory test and referred to a Federally Qualified Health Center for navigation services. The study evaluated the number of HCV antibody positive rates, linkage to care, engagement in care, and HCV treatment initiation.
The young adult group was more likely to be HCV antibody positive (23% vs. 15%), more likely to accept confirmatory HCV viral load testing (94% vs. 85%) but less likely to engage in care than the baby boomer group (19% vs. 39%). However, those in the young adult group were more likely to begin HCV treatment (23% vs. 5%).
Conclusions: In this metropolitan sample of an HCV population, young adults were more likely to be tested, HCV antibody positive, accept HCV viral load testing and HCV treatment, but less likely to engage in care.
Editorial Comments: The high number of young people who were tested and accepted an HCV viral load test is excellent. However, the low number of people who engage in care and seek treatment needs much more attention. We have HCV medications that can cure almost everyone. I wonder what the barriers are to reaching these populations?Share This Page