Simultaneous human immunodeficiency virus-hepatitis B-hepatitis C point-of-care tests improve outcomes in linkage-to-care: Results of a randomized control trial in persons without healthcare coverage
Receipt of antibody results,Linkage to care
Laboratory-based antibody test,Point-of-care antibody test (rapid test)
Background. In Europe and the United States, more than two thirds of individuals infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 15%-30% of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals are unaware of their infection status. Simultaneous HIV-, HBV-, and HCV-rapid tests could help improve infection awareness and linkage-to-care in particularly vulnerable populations. Methods. The OptiScreen III study was a single-center, randomized, control trial conducted at a free clinic ("Medecins du Monde", Paris, France). Participants were randomized 1:1 to receive 1 of 2 interventions testing for HIV, HBV, and HCV: standard serology-based testing (S-arm) or point-of-care rapid testing (RT-arm). The main study endpoints were the proportion of participants who became aware of their HIV, HBV, and HCV status and who were linked to care when testing positive. Results. A total of 324 individuals, representing mainly African immigrants, were included. In the S-arm, 115 of 162 (71.0%) participants performed a blood draw and 104 of 162 (64.2%) retrieved their test result. In comparison, 159 of 162 (98.2%) of participants randomized to the RT-arm obtained their results (P <.001). Of the 38 (11.7%) participants testing positive (HIV, n = 7; HBV, n = 23; HCV, n = 8), 15 of 18 (83.3%) in the S-arm and 18 of 20 (90.0%) in the RT-arm were linked-to-care (P =.7). In post hoc analysis assuming the same disease prevalence in those without obtaining test results, difference in linkage-to-care was more pronounced (S-arm = 60.0% vs RTarm = 90.0%; P =.04). Conclusions. In a highly at-risk population for chronic viral infections, the simultaneous use of HIV, HBV, and HCV point-of-care tests clearly improves the "cascade of screening" and quite possibly linkage-to-care. Copyright © The Author 2015.