Tips for Providers on Offering Hepatitis Health Care Services
National Harm Reduction Coalition advocates for the following standards of care and practice with regard to hepatitis C virus (HCV) and people who use drugs:
- 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.
- People who use drugs 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 people who currently or formerly have injected drugs.
- New and young people who inject drugs, particularly youth, must be a focus of prevention and vaccination efforts.
- Clinical trials of hepatitis C therapies must not exclude people who use drugs.
- Research on transmission of HCV among people who use drugs 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.