Prevention in Focus

Fall 2012 

Hepatitis C prevention resources online: The sites you won’t want to miss

By Rachel Landauer

The last issue of Prevention in Focus featured the article “HIV prevention resources online: The sites you won’t want to miss.” This time around, we’re sharing some of our ‘go-to’ sources for information on hepatitis C prevention.
 

Public Health Agency of Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s hepatitis C webpage is a gateway to educational resources for the public, healthcare providers and educators, including extensive Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C, as well as reports and other publications on hep C in Canada. Resources related to the national Prevention, Support and Research Program can be accessed here as well.


CATIE's hepCinfo.ca 

If you haven't already, be sure to check out CATIE’s website dedicated to hepatitis C information. It provides comprehensive, bilingual and up-to-date information at two levels: plain & simple and in-depth. You can brush up on hep C basics; read about testing, staying safe, treatment and living with hep C; or link to other key documents and resources. To order resources in English or French, visit CATIE’s Ordering Centre.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The website of the U.S. CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis is a great starting point for information and resources on hepatitis C, as well as other hepatitis viruses (A, B, D and E). Risk assessment and prevention messaging are tailored for specific at-risk populations and specific settings. There is also a section of the site aimed at healthcare professionals. Resources are available in various formats, including downloadable fact sheets and slide sets.    


Harm Reduction Coalition

The Harm Reduction Coalition, based in the U.S., offers resources that are relevant for working with people who use drugs. Hepatitis C prevention and harm reduction are explored through educational materials and manuals, podcasts and the Harm Reduction Communication newsletter. The organization’s new blog Communiqué is a way to stay on top of current issues and affairs.


HCV Advocate

HCV Advocate is a website run by the U.S.-based Hepatitis C Support Project (HCSP). It offers downloadable fact sheets on hepatitis C, modes of transmission and strategies for reducing risk. This information is available at levels ranging from basic to technical and research-oriented: the Easy Hepatitis C Facts Series, Hepatitis C Basics and the HCSP Factsheet Series.


What about using HIV prevention resources?

HIV prevention resources are increasingly integrating hepatitis C information into their folds. NAM-aidsmap, in the U.K., is one strong example of this. A visit to their Hepatitis C transmission and prevention webpage will connect you to the latest in related research, through feature articles and news reports, as well as provide you with client resources on the subject. A simple search on your favorite HIV-specific website may also return results.

Sometimes, HIV prevention tools can be used to inform hepatitis C prevention. This is, in part, because both HIV and hepatitis C can be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and both affect many of the same communities (for example, people who inject drugs and people in prisons). When determining if an HIV prevention tool is (or can be adapted to be) applicable to hepatitis C, it is important to consider ways in which the viruses are different. Some of these differences are scientific (for example, hepatitis C is more infectious than HIV but HIV can be passed on in ways that hepatitis C cannot). Other differences between HIV and hepatitis C prevention are based on how people think about and react to the viruses (for example, HIV and hepatitis C may each be associated with different types and levels of stigma and discrimination).

We hope this list will come in handy the next time you are searching for content on hepatitis C prevention. For assistance finding more resources that suit your needs, you may also want to check out these articles: “6 steps to assess health information on the web” and “Find it on the web: How to map a successful search strategy.”

 

About the author(s)

Rachel Landauer is CATIE's former Hepatitis C Researcher/Writer. Rachel has an undergraduate degree in Health: Science, Society and Policy from Brandeis University.