Division of Liver Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Many Egyptian-born persons in the U.S. are at high risk of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, yet are not aware of their infection and lack healthcare coverage or linkage to care. In this study, we target Egyptian-born persons living in the New York City area for screening and link to care.
A unique partnership, the Hepatitis Outreach Network (HONE), combines the expertise and resources of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and community-based organizations, to provide education, screening and link to care in communities with high prevalence of chronic viral hepatitis.
Through four community-based screening events, 192 Egyptian-born persons were screened for HCV. Thirty (15.6%) persons were HCV positive. HCV antibody prevalence in those, whose national origin was Egypt, increased strongly with age and was associated with increasing number of years resident in Egypt and rural residents. Of the 30 Egyptian persons with HCV infection, 18 (60%) received a medical evaluation (2 with local providers and 16 at Mount Sinai). Of the HCV-infected persons evaluated, treatment was recommended in four and begun in three (75%).
Egyptian-born persons living in the New York City area have a high burden of HCV disease. HONE has successfully established targeted HCV screening in Egyptian-born persons through use of several unique elements that effectively link them to care.