Track Description: 

The SYNC 2020 (virtual) HCV Health Track focuses on sharing stories, strategies, and successes to improve health outcomes from organizations serving people living with or at risk for hepatitis C. The track will highlight models and lessons learned for engaging underserved or socially-disadvantaged populations in HCV screening and treatment, integrating HCV and HIV services, and addressing federal and local policy, surveillance, and workforce barriers to HCV prevention, care and treatment.

Track Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss barriers facing access and engagement in HCV screening, care and treatment for populations most impacted by HCV. 

  • Review innovative strategies that your organization could implement to improve engagement of vulnerable and socially-disadvantaged populations in HCV screening and treatment through telehealth, service integration, enhanced partnerships, and peer-to-peer support.

  • Identify structural barriers impacting access and engagement in HCV screening and treatment and the potential state and local advocacy opportunities that you can engage in.

Session #1: 

Session Title: Realizing the Cure: HCV Testing and Treatment Models for Key Populations

Session Description:
This HCV Health session will highlight unique models that aim to connect key populations most-impacted by HCV to HCV testing and treatment and improve HCV-related health outcomes.  The panelists will review strategies and lessons learned in implementing telehealth models of care for vulnerable groups, shared medical appointments for veterans, and co-location of substance abuse treatment and primary care.

Session Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the importance of tailored approaches to HCV testing and treatment for key populations, such as veterans, people who inject drugs (PWID), and homeless.

  2. Review real-world strategies to better engage and retain HCV patients who face barriers to care and treatment.

  3. Describe adaptations, practical implementation, and tools to support uptake of strategies that reduce barriers to HCV care and improve health outcomes.

Session #2: 

Session Title: SYNCing Services to End the Epidemics: Lessons Learned From Integrated HIV, HCV and Behavioral Health Initiatives in the Southern U.S.

Session Description:
This HCV Health session will highlight local and state initiatives that demonstrate effectiveness of HIV and HCV screening and care integration to enhance health outcomes for people co-infected with HIV and HCV. The panelists will review rationale, key strategies, and lessons learned from integrated service delivery in the southern U.S.

Session Learning Objectives:

  • Understand rationale, opportunities and challenges to integrating HIV and HCV testing programs and co-locating HIV and HCV services.

  • Identify strategies to use HIV/HCV testing integration to increase the effectiveness of each program. 

  • Discuss challenges and successes associated with implementing evidence-based programs for HIV and HCV integration in “real world” care settings focusing on underserved, high risk populations.

Session #3: 

Session Title: Optimizing HCV Screening, Linkage to Care, and Treatment for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Patients

Session Description:
This HCV Health session will highlight three initiatives/projects that aim to enhance access and engagement in HCV screening, linkage to care, and treatment for individuals who are currently or formerly incarcerated. The panelists will review barriers, strategies, and lessons learned to improve the overall health outcomes of HCV patients in-facility and upon community reentry.

Session Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify barriers to accessing HCV care and treatment during the time of re-entry into society.

  2. Explore strategies and interventions to mitigate barriers and improve HCV treatment access for this vulnerable population.

  3. Review lessons learned and practical strategies from three different initiatives for linking and retaining HCV patients who are incarcerated or recently released.

  4. Discuss the impact of peer mentoring, support, and coaching resources on health outcomes of HCV patients in-facility and upon community reentry.

Session #4: 

Session Title: Policy, Programs, and Payers: Addressing Structural Barriers to Improve HCV Health Outcomes

Session Description:
This HCV Health session will focus on structural barriers – including federal, state and local policies, surveillance, and workforce limitations – that impact HCV prevention, care and treatment. The panelists will review federal and state policies that impact minority communities with HCV, strategies to enhance access to syringe services, utilization of local surveillance data to track HCV in healthcare facilities, and resources for training of clinical and non-clinical providers in HCV.

Session Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe disparate burden of HCV mortality among minority communities in the U.S. and policies impacting both HCV surveillance and equitable access to HCV care

  2. Examples of innovative strategies employed by programs across the U.S. to improve access to sterile injection equipment and other harm reduction efforts in order to improve PWID health. 

  3. Review available training resources for clinical and non-clinical providers to increase capacity to treat patients with HCV.