Training Guide

HepConnect: From Project Launch to Grant Awards

The Landscape

The United States is experiencing rising rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections; in greater Appalachia, the increase in injection drug use has led to a more than three-fold rise in HCV infection rates. CDC: 2016 Hepatitis Surveillance Report

Harm reduction services in this region vary widely by state and even county — the HepConnect Initiative lifts up what has already been started and doubles down with funding and added capacity from National Harm Reduction Coalition to improve and expand existing syringe service programs (SSPs) and create fertile ground with supporting communities for new programs.

Improving access to harm reduction programs also increases access to overdose prevention resources, including naloxone — several of the states rank highest in the nation for overdose mortality, so while this initiative focuses on hepatitis C, building harm reduction doubles as overdose prevention resources.