Community-based HCV screening: Knowledge and attitudes in a high risk urban population

Brianna L. Norton, Corrine I. Voils, Sarah H. Timberlake, Emily J. Hecker, Neela D. Goswami, Kim M. Huffman, Anneka Landgraf, Susanna Naggie, Jason E. Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: In an attempt to curtail the rising morbidity and mortality from undiagnosed HCV (hepatitis C virus) in the United States, screening guidelines have been expanded to high-risk individuals and persons born 1945-1965. Community-based screening may be one strategy in which to reach such persons; however, the acceptance of HCV testing, when many high-risk individuals may not have access to HCV specific medications, remains unknown.Methods: We set out to assess attitudes about HCV screening and knowledge about HCV disease at several community-based testing sites that serve high-risk populations. This assessment was paired with a brief HCV educational intervention, followed by post-education evaluation.Results: Participants (n = 140) were surveyed at five sites; two homeless shelters, two drug rehabilitation centers, and a women's "drop-in" center. Personal acceptance of HCV testing was almost unanimous, and 90% of participants reported that they would still want to be tested even if they were unable to receive HCV treatment. Baseline hepatitis C knowledge was poor; however, the brief educational intervention significantly improved knowledge and increased acceptability of testing when medical access issues were explicitly stated.Conclusions: Despite inconsistencies in access to care and treatment, high-risk communities want to know their HCV status. Though baseline HCV knowledge was poor in this population, a brief on-site educational intervention improved both knowledge and acceptability of HCV testing and care. These data support the establishment of programs that utilize community-based screening, and also provide initial evidence for acceptance of the implementation of the recently expanded screening guidelines among marginalized communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 10 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Behaviors
  • Health knowledge
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Hepatitis C
  • Patient education
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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