Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus in Pennsylvanian state prisons

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Tags:
Date Commenced:
06/2013
Project Supporters:

Sarah Larney is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (no. 1035149)

Project Members: 
image - Sarah Larney
Senior Lecturer
Ph +61 (2) 9385 0333
Project Main Description: 

This project will use HCV surveillance data to describe the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people incarcerated in state prisons in Pennsylvania, United States. 

Project Collaborators: External: 

Dr Timothy P Flanigan
Brown University and The Miriam Hospital

Madeline Mahowald
Brown University and The Miriam Hospital

Dr Nicholas Scharff
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Rationale: 

HCV is endemic amongst prisoners, but there are few recent epidemiological data on HCV among prisoners in the United States. Such data are urgently needed to inform prevention and treatment efforts in correctional settings.

Aims: 

To describe the epidemiology of HCV among Pennsylvania state prisoners.

Design and Method: 

Pennsylvania is one of few US states to undertake routine HCV antibody (anti-HCV) testing of all people entering state prisons. Data for the years 2004-2012 will be analysed to identify epidemiological trends in anti-HCV prevalence in this population. 

Findings: 

18% of Pennsylvanian state prisoners were anti-HCV positive. Women were nearly twice as likely as men to be anti-HCV positive. Although anti-HCV prevalence was highest in prisoners born prior to 1960, the majority of anti-HCV positive prisoners were younger. Anti-HCV prevalence in prisoners is decreasing with time. 

Output: 

Papers

Larney, S., Mahowald, M., Scharff, N., Flanigan, T.P., Beckwith, C.G., & Zaller, N.D. (2014). Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus in Pennsylvanian state prisons 2004-2012: Limitations of 1945-1965 birth cohort screening in correctional settingsAmerican Journal of Public Health, 104(6): e69-e74. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301943

Mahowald, M., Larney, S., Zaller, N.D., Scharff, N., Talyor, L.E., Beckwith, C.G., Noska, A., Rich, J.D., & Flanigan, T.P. (in press). Characterising the burden of hepatitis C infection among entrants to Pennsylvania state prisons, 2004-2012. Journal of Correctional Health Care.

Presentations

Mahowald M, Larney S, Scharff N, Beckwith C, Taylor LE, Zaller N, Flanigan T. The Burden of Hepatitis C Infection in Pennsylvania State Prisons and Implications for Treatment. Abstract accepted for presentation to the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, Boston, 2014.

M. Mahowald, S. Larney, N. Scharff, N. Zaller, C. Beckwith, T. Flanigan. The burden of hepatitis C infection among entrants to Pennsylvania state prisons, 2004-2012. Abstract accepted for presentation to the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health, Houston, 2014.

Media

“Study: One in five inmates in PA prisons has hepatitis C” http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/healthscience/69303-elana-gordon

 
Benefits: 

The findings of this project will inform prison HCV screening and treatment policies and clinical practices. 

Project Research Area: 
Project Status: 
Completed
Year Completed: 
2014