Increasing Access to Hepatitis C Treatment in Opioid Endemic Rural Areas: The Kentucky Viral Hepatitis Treatment (KeY Treat) Study (KeY Treat)

  • End date
    Aug 12, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Jennifer Havens
Updated on 12 October 2022
antiviral drugs
antiviral agents
viral hepatitis


The overarching goal of the Kentucky Viral Hepatitis Treatment Project (KeY Treat) is to increase hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment access and delivery in a rural Appalachian community, which is in the midst of the opioid/hepatitis C (HCV) syndemic. KeY Treat is a clinical research study seeking to determine whether removing barriers (cost, insurance, specialist, abstinence) associated with accessing direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for the treatment of HCV will impact health in Perry County, Kentucky.


The overarching goal of the Kentucky Viral Hepatitis Treatment Project (KeY Treat) is to increase access to treatment for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a rural Appalachian community in the midst of the opioid/HCV syndemic. This study seeks to examine whether removing barriers associated with accessing direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for the treatment of HCV (high out-of-pocket costs, insurance restrictions requiring a specialist, abstinence, and significant liver damage) will significantly reduce the burden of HCV in Perry County, Kentucky. The proposed study is made possible by a significant drug donation from Gilead Sciences for sofosbuvir/velpatasvir, a 12-week, once per day, pan-genotypic DAA. KeY Treat proposes a multi-pronged approach to treating HCV using a mid-level provider model. In addition to DAA treatment, participants will be offered access to subsidized medication-assisted treatment, syringe services, and case management. Existing resources in the target community (public health, jail, hospital) will be leveraged, as well as ongoing projects dedicated to increasing access to HCV care in affected communities (ECHO, FOCUS) to answer whether removing the major barriers to HCV treatment affect access, and what barriers remain. All RNA-positive residents of Perry County, Kentucky will be eligible/recruited for study participation (N≈900), and the following specific aims will be addressed: 1) determination of HCV treatment uptake among rural residents with chronic HCV; 2) examination of the predictors of treatment completion among those enrolled in KeY Treat; 3) examination of the characteristics of participants achieving sustained virologic response (SVR, or cure); 4) establishment of long-term re-infection rates among those achieving SVR; 5) examination of 5-year reductions in incidence and prevalence of HCV in the intervention community compared with a control county in rural Kentucky; and 6) evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of KeY Treat using mathematical modeling. The proposed research has tremendous potential to impact public health in the rural United States. The majority of counties identified in CDC's recent HCV/HIV hotspot analysis were rural, and there is a real need to improve access to DAAs in order to prevent further HCV transmission, reduce the burden of advanced liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma in generations to come. Data from KeY Treat will inform policies around Medicaid/insurance restrictions for DAAs, and will deliver a much needed blueprint for the provision of HCV treatment in resource-deprived rural areas.

Condition Hepatitis C, Opioid-Related Disorders, Injection Drug Use
Treatment Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa®)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03949764
SponsorJennifer Havens
Last Modified on12 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

RNA positive for HCV
Perry County residency (verified via ID card showing local address, lease, utility bill, etc.)
years of age or older

Exclusion Criteria

Individuals who are unable to provide consent (to be determined by local study staff in conjunction with our psychiatrist, Dr. Lofwall, a Co-I on the study)
Individuals under 18 years of age (study drugs not FDA-approved for those <18)
Pregnant women (unable to participate during duration of pregnancy, but encouraged to return following delivery)
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note