Amsterdam MSM Hepatitis C Free
The main objective of MC Free is to reduce the incidence of HCV infections among MSM in Amsterdam.
In the Netherlands, unlike many other countries, HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the majority of new Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections.
Due to increased efficacy and tolerability of new antiviral agents for the treatment of HCV, a cure is possible for the majority of patients. The November 2015 eligibility for interferon-free HCV treatment in the Netherlands was expanded for all chronic HCV patients regardless of the extent of liver fibrosis. We believe that elimination of HCV in MSM in Amsterdam is within reach. We combined expertise and knowledge from virologists, clinicians, public health specialists and a non-governmental organization specialized in sexual health, in the MC Free study group to develop an innovative, integrated strategy aimed at eliminating HCV among MSM in Amsterdam.
We developed online and offline interventions to increase knowledge and awareness of HCV infection, to increase regular HCV testing and earlier diagnosis and to stimulate risk reduction behavior. Examples are a home‐based HCV‐RNA testing intervention and a toolbox with products to stimulate risk reduction strategies for MSM at risk for HCV.
The interventions are available on the NoMoreC website, which is a project of the MC FREE initiative. The NoMoreC website consists of six domains: (1) a webshop for the HCV RNA test and information about the testing service; (2) personalized test advice using a validated questionnaire; (3) general information about the Hepatitis C virus, disease and transmission; (4) information about risk reduction strategies; (5) a webshop for the NoMoreC toolbox; and (6) information about having a Hepatitis C virus infection.
We will also develop an e-learning module and provide face-to-face training for health professionals in primary, secondary and public health care about HCV sex‐ and drug‐related risks, risk‐reduction measures, strategies to prevent HCV re‐infections, testing options, partner notification and the benefits of quick linkage to care.
AIGHD Research Lead
Dr. Marc van der Valk
Dept. of Virology and Dept. of Infectious Diseases, Academic Medical Center
Amsterdam Public Health Service (GGD Amsterdam)
STI AIDS Netherlands (Soa AIDS Nederland)
Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD)
MSM Observational Study of Acute Infection with Hepatitis C (MOSAIC)
Dutch HIV Monitoring Foundation (SHM)
Johnson & Johnson