Lack of evidence-based harm reduction tools, such as needle and syringe programs, in custodial settings, in addition to over policing of people who use drugs, contributes to a significantly higher rate of hepatitis C among people in custodial settings when compared to those in the community, with some studies estimating that up to 50% of people in a custodial setting are living with hepatitis C, compared to around 1% in the general community.
Testing and treatment for hepatitis C is available in most of Australia’s custodial settings, however for a variety of reasons, such as early release or movement between prisons, some people living with hepatitis C are unable to access treatment.
In 2017 AIVL undertook an analysis of the hepatitis C needs of people in custodial settings, with a particular focus on people exiting these settings and returning to the community. To improve hepatitis C treatment for people within or exiting custodial settings, the Needs analysis for people living with HCV after leaving custodial settings in Australia report makes recommendations including:
The full report is available here