EU-Project: Identification and optimisation of evidence-based HCV prevention in Europe for young drug users at risk
On international level there is no doubt that harm-reduction is a most important response to drug related health damages. In this respect the European project on HCV prevention is based on scientific expertise and designed to fill current gaps in research on effective approaches in preventing blood-borne infectious diseases. The concept of the project is focussed on the identification and optimisation of HCV prevention as the prevalence of HCV remains still high despite of broad availability of harm reduction measures in Europe. In addition special attention is drawn to young drug users because this group is known to be at highest risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C.
Main aim of the project is to identify evidence-based HCV prevention and to contribute to the further development of innovative approaches to reduce new infections with hepatitis C. The project will result in recommendations which will guide policy makers and professionals in implementing more effective and targeted interventions to prevent HCV among new and experienced drug users. In detail, the project will consist of the following six activities:
- Inventory of scientific evidence for effective HCV prevention: The objective of this activity is to search for international evidence for effective HCV prevention targeting risk populations. The search will result in an evidence report which also includes data on the spread of HCV among (young) IDUs.
- Compilation of European guidelines for HCV prevention: The aim is to collect available European guidelines or standards for the implementation of evidence-based HCV prevention. The guidelines or standards will be collected as physical documents in order to disseminate them to the harm reduction networks and to the EMCDDA. The impact of guidelines consists of providing standards for implementing good practice in drug services or health care settings. (find attached: 'Request for information on guideline(s) or standards for HCV prevention' - PDF)
- Overview on implemented HCV prevention programmes in selected European regions: There are already overviews on the national availability of harm-reduction interventions in the European Union. At the same time these overviews do not provide details on availability, coverage and concepts of interventions in the field of HCV prevention. For this reason each project partner will describe which kind of HCV prevention programmes are implemented in one metropole of their country. The main interest is to know about the coverage of HCV prevention programmes in the metropole, the type of implemented programmes and – if available – the utilisation of HCV prevention programmes by drug users at risk. The overview on regional implementation of HCV prevention will allow identifying potential gaps in the provision of respective interventions.
- Evaluation of examples of HCV prevention programmes: The objective of this activity is to evaluate selected HCV prevention programmes as to their implementation, utilisation and effectiveness. In each of the partner’s city there will be drug services involved which have implemented one or more interventions in the field of HCV prevention. The HCV prevention programmes of the involved drug services will be evaluated in the following dimensions: HCV prevention concept, implementation of the single interventions, applied resources, processes, structures and results. The evaluation is based on the analyses of documents (concept, reports, documentation, clients reached etc.), qualitative interviews with the staff and about 100 faceto-face interviews with drug users in each partner country. The qualitative interviews with the staff are focussed on processes and results in order to explore supportive and inhibitory factors in implementing HCV specific interventions. The interviews with drug users will concentrate on their strategies not to become infected with HCV and their assessment of the effectiveness of the interventions in remaining HCV negative. Those drug users will be included in the interviews who are not infected with HCV. In order to investigate their risk behaviour and knowledge on HCV a short version of the international instrument BBV-TRAQ and a quiz on HCV will be used. The data will be analysed and results will be presented in respective reports.
- Recommendations for the optimisation of HCV prevention: The evaluation results of activity 4. are the main basis for recommendations on how to improve HCV prevention for young drug users at risk. The evaluation results will be discussed with involved professionals and further interested persons and later on with the project partners to build consensus on recommendations. Recommendations will be developed for the main interventions in HCV prevention and describe how good practice in HCV prevention will look like in consideration of national peculiarities but as well as on European level.
- Set of revised manuals and innovative approaches in HCV prevention: This set is a complementary output of the recommendations. It will provide practical instructions (manuals) on optimised prevention modules and on innovative approaches such as awareness training, brochures with messages on HCV prevention strategies, blood awareness campaigns etc. The objective is to encourage further approaches in HCV prevention. In order to ensure broad distribution in Europe it will be made available through websites and networks.
Involved European partners
|Xavier Majo Roca||Spain||Programme On Substance Abuse. Directorate General of Public Health Department of Health, Government of Catalonia||Department of Health, Government of Catalonia |
Roc Boronat 81-95
08005 Barcelona, Catalonia
Phone: +34 659 629 335
Fax: +34 935517514
|Inneke Baas||Netherlands||Mainline||Stichting Mainline |
Health and prevention work for drug users
Frederik Hendrikstraat 111-115
1052HN Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31-(0)20-682 26 60
Fax: +31-(0)20-681 30 03
|Rasa Ciceniene||Lithuania||EHRN |
(Eurasian Harm Reduction Network)
|Eurasian Harm Reduction Network |
Siauliu St. 5/1-21
Vilnius LT-01133, Lithuania
Phone: + 370 5 212 2154
Fax: + 370 5 269 1601
|Gerasimos Papanastasatos||Greece||Kethea, Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals||Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals (KETHEA) |
24 Sorvolou Str,
11636 Athens, Greece
Fax: + 2109241986
|Heino Stöver, project supervisor||Germany||Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences||Fachhochschule Frankfurt/Main |
Fachbereich 4, Soziale Arbeit und Gesundheit
Health and Social Work
60318 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Phone.: +49 69 1533-2823
Leitung/ Project Coordinator
Beteiligte MitarbeiterInnen/ Involved Researchers
Förderung/ FundingEuropean Commission, Department JLS - Drug Prevention and Information Programme, Project number: JLS/2008/DPIP/AG/142