HCV Current Initiative
HCV Current is a national initiative of the ATTC Network to increase hepatitis C (HCV) knowledge among medical and behavioral health professionals.
In May, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the number of new hepatitis C infections reported to CDC had nearly tripled in a five-year period, reaching a 15-year high. The greatest increases, and the highest overall number of cases, were among young people 20-29, with injection drug use as the primary route of transmission. The majority of the 3.5 million Americans already living with hepatitis C are people born from 1945-1965.
This ATTC initiative disseminates the latest on the rapidly evolving field of HCV and provides comprehensive resources for health professionals, including:
- Online and In-Person Curriculum and Training
- Provider Tools Available for Download
- A Guide to Assist Opioid Treatment Programs in Integrating HCV Testing and Treatment
HCV Current is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Why Hepatitis C?
Approximately 3.5 million people are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States (National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan 2017-2020). Approximately 75% were born between 1945 and 1965 and are unaware of their infection. CDC and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended in 2013 that baby boomers should be offered a one-time screening for HCV. Research shows that since then, there was a very small increase in testing of 12.3 to 13.8% consequently keeping the birth cohort at highest risk for liver cancer and HCV related disease and cirrhotic liver complications.
Approximately 70 percent of new HCV infections are believed to occur among people who inject drugs. This increase has been driven by the opioid epidemic that affects many communities across the country. Unsafe injection drug use has contributed to a 250 percent increase in HCV infections between 2010 and 2014. (National Viral Hepatitis Plan 2017-2020).
The ATTC Network offers multiple training options, including:
- Free, 90-minute online course providing an overview of HCV. The four self-paced modules cover: populations at risk, overview of HCV, screening processes, and treatment options. Continuing education is available.
- Click here to learn more about the course, or
- Register now for the course at: https://healtheknowledge.org/course/index.php?categoryid=52#HCVSnapshot
This 6-hour face-to-face training curriculum was recently updated in 2019 and includes the latest in treatment options available and the impact of the opioid epidemic on HCV in the U.S. The course is designed to instruct behavioral health and medical providers on hepatitis C (HCV) epidemiology, opportunities for promoting HCV screening and testing, treatment options and considerations, and linking persons infected to HCV health care.
By the end of this training, participants should be able to:
- List at least three populations impacted by the opioid crisis, 2019.
- List at least three infections that result from injection drug use.
- Discuss at least two reasons why it is important to promote hepatitis C screening and confirmatory diagnostic testing.
- Describe at least three prevention messages that can be used when promoting hepatitis C screening and testing.
- List at least three treatment factors to consider and describe at least two new treatment options available for patients with HCV.
- Provide examples of at least three strategies to link persons infected with HCV to HCV-focused health care.
Request a Hepatitis C training by contacting the ATTC in your region.
HCV RNA Provider Card (PDF)
National HCV Products and Resources