Health Alert: HIV and HCV in Persons Who Inject Drugs

On May 16, 2018,, NH DHHS issued a health alert regarding HIV and HCV in persons who inject drugs.

NH DPHS Health Alert NetworkKey Points and Recommendations:

  • New Hampshire is at high risk of uncontrolled HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission due to the opioid epidemic and injection drug use.
  • Providers should screen all patients who present to clinical care (regardless of the primary purpose of the visit) for substance use disorder, especially injection drug use.
  • Individuals who have a history of substance misuse (especially injection drug use) should be tested for HIV and HCV.
  • There have been multiple state outbreaks of hepatitis A virus infection associated with individuals who are homeless and individuals who use injection and non-injection drugs (https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2017March-HepatitisA.htm). We recommend all health care providers assess for hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) immunity in these higher risk patients and provide vaccination if not immune.
  • All new diagnoses of HIV and HCV should be reported to the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS), including preliminary positive or rapid-reactive HIV and HCV results, by utilizing the appropriate form below:
  • If a provider (primary or referral provider) is unsure if a new HIV or HCV case has been reported to NH DPHS, please err on the side of re-reporting. NH DPHS does not receive laboratory reports for positive HCV tests, and we rely on provider reporting of new HCV diagnosis for accurate counts.

Read the Full DHHS Alert