References

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Health. Eliminating hepatitis C in England. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Health Inquiry Report. 2018. https://tinyurl.com/hv2fz82f (accessed 27 October 2021)

Arif T. Hepatitis service provision at HMP Birmingham: progressing a previous service improvement plan. BMJ Open Qual. 2018; 7:(4) https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjoq-2017-000192

Assoumou SA, Wang J, Tasillo A Hepatitis C testing and patient characteristics in Washington State's Prisons Between 2012 and 2016. Am J Prev Med. 2019; 56:(1)8-16 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.08.016

Basu S, Smith-Rohrberg D, Hanck S, Altice FL. HIV testing in correctional institutions: evaluating existing strategies, setting new standards. AIDS Public Policy J. 2005; 20:(1-2)3-24

Beckwith CG, Bazerman L, Cornwall AH An evaluation of a routine opt-out rapid HIV testing program in a Rhode Island jail. AIDS Educ Prev. 2011; 23:96-109 https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.2011.23.3_supp.96

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Testing Implementation Guidance for correctional settings. 2009. https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/5279 (accessed 27 October 2021)

Crowley D, Van Hout MC, Lambert JS, Kelly E, Murphy C, Cullen W. Barriers and facilitators to hepatitis C (HCV) screening and treatment—a description of prisoners' perspective. Harm Reduct J. 2018; 15:(1) https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0269-z

de la Flor C, Porsa E, Nijhawan AE. Opt-out HIV and Hepatitis C Testing at the Dallas County Jail: uptake, prevalence, and demographic characteristics of testers. Public Health Rep. 2017; 132:(6)617-621 https://doi.org/10.1177/0033354917732755

Ekeke N, Francis-Graham S, King T, Demma S, Rosenberg W. Improving detection and management of HCV infection in prisons. J Hepatol. 2018; 68:S306-S307 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-8278(18)30832-8

Francis-Graham S, Ekeke NA, Nelson CA Understanding how, why, for whom, and under what circumstances opt-out blood-borne virus testing programmes work to increase test engagement and uptake within prison: a rapid-realist review. BMC Health Serv Res. 2019; 19:(1) https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-3970-z

Health Protection Agency Health Protection Services Prison Network. Standards for health protection units in relation to health protection in prisons. 2012. https://tinyurl.com/rrc8b642 (accessed 27 October 2021)

HM Prison Service. Prison service order 0500. 2004. https://tinyurl.com/jbv74s3k (accessed 27 October 2021)

HM Prison Service. Prison service order 3050. Continuity of healthcare for prisoners. 2006. https://tinyurl.com/ck4kbewm (accessed 27 October 2021)

Jack K, Thomson BJ, Irving WL. Testing for hepatitis C virus infection in UK Prisons: what actually happens?. J Viral Hepat. 2019; 26:(6)644-654 https://doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13071

Jack K, Linsley P, Thomson BJ, Irving WL. How do people in prison feel about opt-out hepatitis C virus testing?. J Viral Hepat. 2020; 27:(10)1003-1011 https://doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13338

Kavasery R, Maru DSR, Cornman-Homonoff J, Sylla LN, Smith D, Altice FL. Routine opt-out HIV testing strategies in a female jail setting: a prospective controlled trial. PLoS One. 2009a; 4:(11) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0007648

Kavasery R, Maru DSR, Sylla LN, Smith D, Altice FL. A prospective controlled trial of routine opt-out HIV testing in a men's jail. PLoS One. 2009b; 4:(11) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008056

Ly W, Cocohoba J, Chyorny A, Halpern J, Auerswald C, Myers J. Perspectives on Integrated HIV and hepatitis C virus testing among persons entering a Northern California Jail: A Pilot Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018; 78:(2)214-220 https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000001664

Mohamed Z, Al-Kurdi D, Nelson M, Shimakawa Y, Selvapatt N, Lacey J, Thursz MR, Lemoine M, Brown AS. Time matters: point of care screening and streamlined linkage to care dramatically improves hepatitis C treatment uptake in prisoners in England. Int J Drug Policy. 2020; 75 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.102608

National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Interferon alfa (pegylated and non-pegylated) and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Technology appraisal guidance TA75. 2013. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta75 (accessed 2 November 2021)

National Partnership Agreement between: the National Offender Management Service, NHS England and Public Health England for the co-commissioning and delivery of healthcare services in prisons in England.London: NHS England; 2013

NHS England. NHS public health functions agreement 2018-19. Public health functions to be exercised by NHS England. 2018. https://tinyurl.com/32w2k22u (accessed 27 October 2021)

Reducing mother to baby transmission of HIV. HSC 1999/183.London: NHSE; 1999

Pawlotsky J-MM, Al E, Negro F EASL recommendations on treatment of hepatitis C 2015. J Hepatol. 2015; 63:(1)199-236 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2015.03.025

Public Health England. Hepatitis C in the UK. 2014 report. 2014. https://tinyurl.com/496hx8ts (accessed 27 October 2021)

Public Health England. Blood-borne virus opt-out testing in prisons: preliminary evaluation of Pathfinder Programme. Phase 1, April-September 2014. 2015. https://tinyurl.com/w7sr4kzd (accessed 27 October 2021)

Public Health England. Hepatitis C in the UK 2019: working to eliminate hepatitis C as a major public health threat. 2019. https://tinyurl.com/9h9j43xm (accessed 27 October 2021)

Public Health England. Hepatitis C in England 2020. Working to eliminate hepatitis C as a major public health threat. 2020. https://tinyurl.com/9h9j43xm (accessed 27 October 2021)

Rosen DL, Wohl DA, Golin CE Comparing HIV case detection in prison during opt-in vs. opt-out testing policies. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016; 71:(3)e85-8 https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000000889

Simpson WM, Johnstone FD, Boyd FM, Goldberg DJ, Hart GJ, Prescott RJ. Uptake and acceptability of antenatal HIV testing: randomised controlled trial of different methods of offering the test. BMJ. 1998; 316:(7127)262-267 https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7127.262

Simpson WM, Johnstone FD, Goldberg DJ, Gormley SM, Hart GJ. Antenatal HIV testing: assessment of a routine voluntary approach. BMJ. 1999; 318:(7199)1660-1661 https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7199.1660

Spaulding AC, Bowden CJ, Kim BI Routine HIV screening during medical evaluation at a county jail—Fulton County, Georgia, 2011-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013; 62:(24)495-497

HIV Screening of male inmates during prison intake medical evaluation–Washington, 2006-2010. 2011. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6024.pdf (accessed 27 October 2021)

Vallabhaneni S, Macalino G E, Reinert SE, Schwartzapfel B, Wolf FA, Rich JD. Prisoners favour hepatitis C testing and treatment. Epidemiol Infect. 2006; 134:(2)243-248 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268805004991

Wohl DA. Dramatic results for opt-out HIV testing in prison. Proportion of HIV tests increased quickly. AIDS Alert. 2010; 25:(7)76-77

World Health Organization. Combating hepatitis B and C to reach elimination by 2030. 2016. https://tinyurl.com/5eyt7tue (accessed 19 October 2021)

An opt-out approach to hepatitis C virus testing in English prisons: the literature underpinning the policy

11 November 2021
14 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 20

Abstract

Background:

The World Health Organization's aim to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as a public health threat by 2030 is dependent on testing people. HCV prevalence is higher in prisons, so to increase test uptake an ‘opt-out’ approach to blood-borne virus testing in English and Welsh prisons was introduced.

Aims:

This literature review examines the evidence behind the introduction of this public health policy.

Methods:

Four healthcare databases were searched for publications between January 2000 and February 2020 on the opt-out approach to blood-borne virus testing in prisons.

Findings:

Sixteen studies published between 2009 and 2019 were included. Analysis of their findings showed that an increase in HCV test uptake in prisons occurs when an opt-out approach is used in combination with additional interventions. Contextual differences between UK and US prisons may affect HCV test uptake.

Conclusion:

An opt-out approach to HCV testing in prisons can increase test uptake as part of a complex of interventions.

A global campaign to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as a major public health threat by 2030 was initiated by the World Health Organization in 2016 (World Health Organization, 2016). The UK went one step further, giving itself an accelerated goal of achieving this by 2025 (All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Health, 2018). The success of this campaign is critically dependent on an efficient testing process to identify infected individuals who would benefit from viral eradication therapy.

A new class of direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) first became available in 2014. These are oral treatment regimens of 8–12 weeks' duration, which are free from side effects and, importantly, have cure rates in excess of 95% (Pawlotsky et al, 2015). A curative treatment has changed the landscape for testing people at risk of HCV infection because individuals can be linked into an England-wide network of HCV treatment providers.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content