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Point of care testing (POCT) for hepatitis C at New Zealand needle exchanges

Interim results from the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme’s (NZ NEP) pilot study deploying rapid HCV testing of current NEP clients

Geoff Noller, PhD Department of General Practice and Rural Health. Dr Geoff Noller has a background in social science and qualitative research. An anthropologist, he completed his PhD thesis, Cannabis in New Zealand, with the Otago University Medical School’s Department of Psychological Medicine in 2007. Geoff has an interest in drug use as a cultural practice and has undertaken field work in New Zealand, Australia and the Caribbean. He currently works as a researcher for the NZ Needle Exchange Programme, as a Research Assistant with Otago University School of Medicine’s Department of General Practice and Rural Health, and as an independent consultant.

This presentation reports interim results from the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme’s (NZ NEP) Targeted Testing Project, which piloted the administration of rapid hepatitis C tests by frontline staff at three South Island needle exchanges (NEXs). Over a six-week period during July-September 2017, 200 NEP clients were tested for exposure to the HCV virus, with antibody positive clients receiving confirmatory blood tests.

The project aimed to promote harm reduction education and demonstrate the viability of POCT rapid HCV testing by frontline NEP staff. Outcomes included the nurturing of linkages between NEXs, specialist nursing services, primary and secondary care; and the facilitating of treatment pathways for those for whom treatment is currently available, as well as tracking those who will benefit from future treatments.

All are welcome to attend and please share this invitation with interested colleagues. Feel free to bring your lunch.

Date Thursday, 14 September 2017
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience Public
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Seminar
DepartmentGeneral Practice and Rural Health (DSM)
LocationRoom 153, Dept of General Practice & Rural Health, 55 Hanover Street, Dunedin

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