Statistics from Altmetric.com
It is well-recognised that individuals incarcerated are disproportionally affected by hepatitis C viral (HCV) infections across Canada.1 Accordingly, in 2017, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) announced increased funding for treatment initiation among the estimated 2700 HCV infected individuals in federal prison settings.2 In April and May 2017, approximately 121 federal inmates were initiated on HCV treatment. This compares to an estimated 606 federal incarcerated individuals who were initiated on HCV treatment between 2015 and 2016.2 Although CSC’s action is likely to have saved countless lives, the same budgetary commitment has not yet been made for the estimated 4380 infected persons in provincial and territorial prisons.1
Although the federal government’s investment is a step in the right direction, it is crucial to remember that the postrelease period for incarcerated individuals is one of the significant vulnerability. Re-entry can be stressful as they reintegrate into the community, try to find housing and employment, and access medical services.3 Subsequently, critical factors, such as an increased likelihood of high-risk practices in the initial days after release (heightening the risk for HCV reinfection) …
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