Dried Blood Spot Testing Now Available Through Hepatitis NSW
NSW HEPATITIS INFOLINE

Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Testing to be available through Hepatitis NSW

HomeThe Hep-VineDried Blood Spot (DBS) Testing to be available through Hepatitis NSW

DBS Testing to be available through Hepatitis NSWHepatitis NSW is excited to announce we have been approved to offer Dried Blood Spot (DBS) testing in partnership with Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), the Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA) and the Community Restorative Centre (CRC).

What is DBS?

The DBS test is a free, easy, private, and accurate way to test for hepatitis C and/or HIV. The test works by putting a few drops of blood from a person’s finger on a testing card, leaving it to dry, then sending it to a Sydney laboratory for analysis. A nurse from Sexual Health Infolink, or the health service where the person did the test, will give their results, by phone, text, or email, and talk about the next steps.

  • Watch video on how to do a DBS test >>>CLICK HERE
  • More information/order a DBS home test kit >>>CLICK HERE
  • Read/order Tx! MAG #38 (the DBS issue!) >>>CLICK HERE

People can test privately in their own home, or at a community service, rather than in a clinic, and don’t need to have blood drawn from a vein. The hep C test is for HCV-RNA (also called PCR), meaning it shows if a current infection is present. DBS can be used to check that treatment has worked, or if reinfection has occurred.

Who is DBS for?

The DBS hep C test is for anyone who:

  • has ever injected a drug;
  • has ever been in prison or attended a community corrections service;
  • identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;
  • has ever attended a drug and alcohol service or mental health service;
  • has experienced homelessness; or
  • is anyone from countries where hep C is more common

You also must be over 16 years of age and living in NSW.

How will Hepatitis NSW offer DBS?

Hepatitis NSW, Sydney LHD, NADA and CRC are collaborating to build sector capacity, to provide hep C testing using DBS, and to increase health care access in the community.

CRC case workers support people with complex needs to transition from the criminal justice system back to the community. Hepatitis NSW staff will work with CRC case workers on face-to-face client visits, and offer hep C information, DBS testing, and peer support. This will reduce barriers to healthcare, aided by the support of each client’s familiar case worker.

Hepatitis NSW will also offer DBS tests at health promotion and health education events, and in settings where Local Health District staff are unable to offer hep C testing.

NADA will invite their member organisations to collaborate with Hepatitis NSW – including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services – to increase hep C testing, treatment, and other steps toward eliminating hep C.

Published 16 September, 2021
Originally published in The Champion eNews #99

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