To date, these clinical trials have recruited from populations already engaged in care at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Participants are aware of hepatitis C virus infection and its implications and are well-motivated to seek treatment. Since our clinical trials are investigating the efficacy of treatment strategies that could be used to treat underserved populations, it is crucial to develop innovative ways to engage with these ‘hard-to-reach’ populations, such as people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, as well as low-income communities.
OUCRU’s social science and public engagement teams are currently working with these underrepresented groups, using community-based participatory research to engage with communities to create community-led strategies to improve linkages to care and treatment for populations at risk for viral hepatitis.
These studies are currently ongoing, with a positive impact on the participants. We hope to have a more significant impact on the treatment strategy and access to care for patients with hepatitis C in Vietnam and worldwide in the future.