Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus in Pennsylvania state prisons, 2004-2012: limitations of 1945-1965 birth cohort screening in correctional settings.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES We described hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) prevalence in a state prison system and retrospectively evaluated the case-finding performance of targeted testing of the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort in this population. METHODS We used observational data from universal testing of Pennsylvania state prison entrants (June 2004-December 2012) to determine anti-HCV prevalence by birth cohort. We compared anti-HCV prevalence and the burden of anti-HCV in the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort with that in all other birth years. RESULTS Anti-HCV prevalence among 101,727 adults entering prison was 18.1%. Prevalence was highest among those born from 1945 to 1965, but most anti-HCV cases were in people born after 1965. Targeted testing of the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort would have identified a decreasing proportion of cases with time. CONCLUSIONS HCV is endemic in correctional populations. Targeted testing of the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort would produce a high yield of positive test results but would identify only a minority of cases. We recommend universal anti-HCV screening in correctional settings to allow for maximum case identification, secondary prevention, and treatment of affected prisoners.

DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301943
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@article{Larney2014EpidemiologyOH, title={Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus in Pennsylvania state prisons, 2004-2012: limitations of 1945-1965 birth cohort screening in correctional settings.}, author={Sarah Larney and Madeline K Mahowald and Nicholas Scharff and Timothy P. Flanigan and Curt G. Beckwith and Nickolas D. Zaller}, journal={American journal of public health}, year={2014}, volume={104 6}, pages={e69-74} }