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Recommended Hepatitis C Standards of Care

Harm Reduction Coalition advocates for the following standards of care and practice with regard to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and drug users:

  • All HCV screening must be accompanied by pre-and post-test education and support.
  • At-risk individuals who present possible symptoms of HCV infection must be advised of available counseling, education and screening as standard of care.
  • HCV testing cannot be mandatory.
  • Routine testing following patient consent should be accompanied by comprehensive education.
  • All counseling provides safer injection education.
  • Drug users cannot be restricted from appropriate treatment based solely on their drug use.
  • All persons infected with hepatitis C should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and also Hepatitis B virus (when appropriate).
  • HCV screening must be freely available to all current and former drug injectors.
  • New and young injectors, particularly youth, must be a focus of prevention and vaccination efforts.
  • Clinical trials of hepatitis C therapies must not exclude drug users.
  • Research on transmission of HCV among drug users must be intensified.
  • Individuals maintained on opiate agonist therapy such as methadone or buprenorphine cannot be restricted from accessing care, clinical trials or treatment, including liver transplants.
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