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Use and acceptability of salivary hepatitis C virus testing in an English Young Offender Institution.

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      Abstract

      People held in prison are at a high risk of having hepatitis C virus (HCV) and there is a public health drive in the UK to increase HCV testing in prisons and Young Offender Institutions (YOIs), with opt-out testing. There is an oral antibody test for HCV; this project aims to determine its acceptability in an English YOI setting. This project offered HCV oral point-of-care testing (POCT) using the OraQuick® test to 107 male young offenders attending a sexual health service at an English YOI, monitoring HCV positivity and evaluating acceptability. It also investigated young offenders' histories of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and drug use. Mean age was 19.1 years. A total of 80.4% reported lifetime drug use and 0.9% reported lifetime drug injection. A total of 19.6% reported previous STIs. One patient (0.9%) was positive for HCV on OraQuick® testing. All patients found the POCT acceptable and one stated he would have refused a fingerprick test had it been the only test available for HCV testing. Salivary rapid HCV testing is acceptable among English YOI inmates. It is not as sensitive or specific as standard HCV tests and is more expensive. In our cohort, HCV positivity was low.

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      Affiliations
      [1 ] 1 Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, The Mortimer Market Centre, London, UK.
      [2 ] 2 The Caldecot Centre, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
      [3 ] 3 Terrence Higgins Trust, London, UK.
      [4 ] 4 Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, The Burrell Street Sexual Health Centre, London, UK.
      Journal
      Int J STD AIDS
      International journal of STD & AIDS
      SAGE Publications
      1758-1052
      0956-4624
      October 2017
      : 28
      : 12
      28632479
      10.1177/0956462417696214

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