Introducing hepatitis C virus healthcare pathways in addiction care in the Netherlands with a Breakthrough project: a mixed method study

Introducing hepatitis C virus healthcare pathways in addiction care in the Netherlands with a Breakthrough project: a mixed method study
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People who inject drugs (PWID) are disproportionally affected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In the Netherlands, active HCV transmission in PWID has practically been halted but uptake of HCV testing and linkage to care remains insufficient in this risk group. A national HCV in Addiction Care (HAC) quality improvement project based on the Breakthrough methodology (i.e. Breakthrough project) aimed to secure proper linkage to care in PWID by introducing local HCV healthcare screening and treatment pathways in addiction care units. 

The HAC Breakthrough project has brought about good quality HCV healthcare pathways in the majority of participating addiction care centers and has successfully linked PWID with ongoing HCV viremia to care. Uptake of HCV screening and treatment after referral were identified as the main gaps to be closed in the HCV cascade of care to achieve final HCV elimination in Dutch PWID (i.e. micro-elimination).

Published in 2019 by Harm Reduction Journal
Patricia Kracht
Elisabeth de Gee
Agnes van der Poel