Testing for hepatitis C virus and pharmacy-based testing: the perceptions of people who inject drugs living in Newfoundland and Labrador

Balsom, Catherine (2023) Testing for hepatitis C virus and pharmacy-based testing: the perceptions of people who inject drugs living in Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Injection drug use is the most common mode of transmission of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection yet many people who inject drugs (PWID) are unaware they have the virus. A scoping review was conducted to explore the barriers and enablers to testing for HCV. This informed my qualitative study, which involved interviewing PWID to understand their experiences with HCV testing and learn what features of a pharmacy-based HCV testing program are important to them. The study produced 5 themes related to perceptions and experiences of PWID around HCV testing; ‘There are multiple reasons why testing is not being done’, ‘Feelings surrounding testing vary’, ‘Testing is important for one's own health and the impact on others’, ‘Access to and relationship with primary care providers affect testing’, and ‘There is a need for both increased awareness of testing and more testing options’. Five themes were also produced surrounding their perceptions of pharmacy-based testing; ‘Pharmacy based testing was seen to be easy’, ’The relationship with the pharmacy and pharmacist affects testing’, ‘Confidentiality would be important to attract people to testing’, ‘The fast result is often valuable’, and ‘Less invasive sample collection is appealing to some PWID’. Understanding testing preferences of PWID is important to inform policy enabling improved HCV testing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/16105
Item ID: 16105
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-88)
Keywords: people who inject drugs, hepatitis C virus, testing, blood borne infections, infectious disease, public health, screening, substance use
Department(s): Pharmacy, School of
Date: October 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/GDE4-Z584
Medical Subject Heading: Hepacivirus--Newfoundland and Labrador; Hepatitis C--transmission--Newfoundland and Labrador; Substance Abuse, Intravenous--Newfoundland and Labrador; Drug Users--Newfoundland and Labrador; Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures--Newfoundland and Labrador; Pharmacists--Newfoundland and Labrador

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