Evaluation of a model for assessment and treatment of hepatitis C virus among injecting drug users in the opiate pharmacotherapy setting (ETHOS)

Worldwide there has been growing interest in the provision of care and treatment for hepatitis C virus infection in opiate pharmacotherapy treatment programs. The ETHOS project was a prospective, observational trial in nine opiate pharmacotherapy clinics in NSW involving the establishment of hepatitis C care and treatment programs in each clinic. This ongoing NHMRC-funded study will use qualitative methods to explore OST clients’ and health professionals’ reports of the barriers and incentives to the delivery and uptake of HCV treatment in opiate pharmacotherapy clinics and those in which peer support is offered. Our project recruited staff and clients from four clinics to participate in semi-structured interviews. Clients were recruited on the basis of their engagement with hepatitis C care (no engagement at all; initial assessment; engagement with care/treatment). Two clinics were also running peer support programs. Peer workers and their managers were interviewed as part of this study. In 2012, data collection and analysis were completed and a report published. Our key interests were to explore staff and clients’ views of co-location of services and of peer support programs, to explore issues of trust in services and the possibility of transformation (of client identity and of clinic culture) as a result of the addition of hepatitis C treatment and care in the opiate pharmacotherapy clinic.

Funding Agency

NHMRC Project Grant, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Partners / Collaborators

The Kirby Institute

NSW Ministry of Health


Rance, J., & Treloar, C. (2012). Integrating treatment: Key findings from a qualitative evaluation of the Enhancing Treatment of Hepatitis C in Opiate Substitution Settings (ETHOS) study (Monograph 3/2012). Sydney: National Centre in HIV Social Research, UNSW. (PDF)

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