Needs Assessment of Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment in the Jail System

End Hep C SF

While there are several programs that offer low-threshold hepatitis C (HCV) treatment in San Francisco, HCV treatment access in the San Francisco jails is extremely limited due to the prohibitive cost of treatment and the loss of benefits experienced by people when they are incarcerated. End Hep C SF, San Francisco’s collective impact HCV elimination initiative, commissioned Facente Consulting to collaborate with Jail Health Services in order to identify gaps in HCV testing and treatment in San Francisco jails, identify best practices for treatment and linkage, and develop a HCV care cascade for people currently or recently incarcerated.

Facente Consulting designed a questionnaire that would collect information on jail residents’ demographics, HCV knowledge, existing connections to community medical, substance use, and mental health care, and preferences for HCV treatment delivery. We worked with Jail Health Services to coordinate logistics for onsite interviews with residents of the jail, focusing on people with untreated HCV. Over the course of four days in April 2022, Facente Consulting staff interviewed 22 residents of the jail. Qualitative thematic analysis was paired with quantitative analysis of clinical data from Jail Health Services medical records, resulting in a final report with recommendations for best practices and next steps for End Hep C SF and Jail Health Services.