Last updated on September 2018

ETHOS ENGAGE: Enhancing Treatment of Hepatitis C in Opioid Substitution Settings


Brief description of study

The overall goals of the ETHOS II Project are to enhance hepatitis C virus (HCV) care in drug treatment clinics and needle and syringe programs (NSPs) in New South Wales and Australia, and to develop a translational framework for subsequent establishment of HCV screening and treatment programs in drug treatment clinics and NSPs across NSW and nationally.

Detailed Study Description

The ETHOS II Project is a collaborative research project led by the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, in partnership with:

  • The Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney
  • NSW Health
  • NSW Users and AIDS Association
  • Hepatitis NSW
  • Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM)

The overall goals of the ETHOS II Project are to enhance hepatitis C virus (HCV) care in drug treatment clinics and needle and syringe programs (NSPs) in New South Wales and Australia, and to develop a translational framework for subsequent establishment of HCV screening and treatment programs in drug treatment clinics and NSPs across NSW and nationally.

The ETHOS II Project is divided into three parts:

I. ETHOS ENGAGE cohort; II. Qualitative research on barriers/facilitators to HCV care; III. HCV toolkit, education and training.

Part I: ETHOS ENGAGE The ETHOS ENGAGE cohort is a non-randomised trial to assess the effect of an intervention incorporating on-site HCV RNA testing, liver fibrosis assessment, and linkage to care to enhance scale-up of direct-acting antiviral therapy for HCV infection among people with a history of injecting drug use, and recent injecting drug use (within the last 6 months) or receiving opioid substitution therapy (OST).

In addition to the above interventions, participants will complete a survey. They will also be invited to provide consent to link data with routinely collected data from a range of population databases and registers.

Participant recruitment will take place in public and private drug treatment clinics, high case-load GPs, and NSP programmes.

A sub study will be included in ETHOS ENGAGE. As part of this sub-study, 550 participants will be invited to provide a sample of blood collected via venepuncture, which will be used to evaluate simplified HCV diagnostic assays on finger-stick and DBS samples to diagnose chronic HCV infection.

Part II: Qualitative Interviews Policy makers, clinicians and patients from selected clinics will be interviewed to examine barriers and facilitators to HCV care.

Part III: HCV toolkit, education and training A HCV education and training program (including HCV tool-kit) will be developed in collaboration with ASHM, based on learnings generated through ETHOS ENGAGE and the qualitative interviews, to enhance workforce development and improve HCV care in drug treatment clinics and needles and syringe programmes.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03685045

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