Hepatitis C testing, infection, and linkage to care among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, 2009-2010

Am J Public Health. 2013 Jan;103(1):112-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300858. Epub 2012 Nov 15.


Objectives: We estimated rates and determinants of hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing, infection, and linkage to care among US racial/ethnic minorities.

Methods: We analyzed the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the US Risk Factor Survey conducted in 2009-2010 (n = 53,896 minority adults).

Results: Overall, 19% of respondents were tested for HCV. Only 60% of those reporting a risk factor were tested, with much lower rates among Asians reporting injection drug use (40%). Odds of HCV testing decreased with age and increased with higher education. Of those tested, 8.3% reported HCV infection. Respondents with income of $75,000 or more were less likely to report HCV infection than those with income less than $25,000. College-educated non-Hispanic Blacks and Asians had lower odds of HCV infection than those who did not finish high school. Of those infected, 44.4% were currently being followed by a physician, and 41.9% had taken HCV medications.

Conclusions: HCV testing and linkage to care among racial/ethnic minorities are suboptimal, particularly among those reporting HCV risk factors. Socioeconomic factors were significant determinants of HCV testing, infection, and access to care. Future HCV testing and prevention activities should be directed toward racial/ethnic minorities, particularly those of low socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Surveys
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Hepatitis C / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult