Benefits and adverse effects of hepatitis C screening: early results of a screening program

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2007 May-Jun;13(3):263-9. doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000267684.23529.2c.


Objective: Early benefits and adverse effects of hepatitis C screening among people who screened anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive were investigated.

Methods: Hepatitis screening program records were abstracted to identify the target population and obtain information about hepatitis A and B vaccination (recommended vaccines if anti-HCV positive). Telephone interviews were conducted using a standardized questionnaire with items regarding clients' medical evaluation, behaviors to prevent liver damage and prevent HCV transmission, and adverse effects experienced.

Results and conclusions: Of 269 eligible clients, 147 were susceptible to hepatitis A (IgG negative), and 116 (78.9%) received at least 1 hepatitis A vaccine dose. Of 119 clients susceptible to hepatitis B, 101 (84.9%) received at least one dose of hepatitis B vaccine. Fifty-six (20.8%) were reached by phone, and 44 (78.6%) consented to the interview. All interviewed clients reported one or more positive behaviors to protect their liver or prevent HCV transmission; 51.2 percent reported at least one adverse effect related to knowing their positive anti-HCV status, most commonly difficulty obtaining health insurance; and 86.0 percent reported satisfaction with their decision to be tested. Results suggest that most anti-HCV-positive clients had some benefit from screening, and highlight the need for further studies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis A Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mass Screening* / adverse effects
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Public Health Administration*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / complications
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / prevention & control


  • Hepatitis A Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies