Best practices for hepatitis C linkage to care in pregnant and postpartum women: Perspectives from the TiP-HepC Community of Practice

Document Type





There is an increasing burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among persons of reproductive age, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, in many regions worldwide. Routine health services during pregnancy present a critical window of opportunity to diagnose and link women with HCV infection for care and treatment to decrease HCV-related morbidity and early mortality. Effective treatment of HCV infection in women diagnosed during pregnancy also prevents HCV-related adverse events in pregnancy and HCV vertical transmission in future pregnancies. However, linkage to care and treatment for women diagnosed in pregnancy remains insufficient. Currently, there are no best practice recommendations from professional societies to ensure appropriate peripartum linkage to HCV care and treatment. We convened a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) to understand key challenges to the HCV care cascade for women diagnosed with HCV in pregnancy, highlight published models of integrated HCV services for pregnant and postpartum women, and preview upcoming research and programmatic initiatives to improve linkage to HCV care for this population. Four-hundred seventy-three participants from 43 countries participated in the CoP, including a diverse range of practitioners from public health, primary care, and clinical specialties. The CoP included panel sessions with representatives from major professional societies in obstetrics/gynecology, maternal fetal medicine, addiction medicine, hepatology, and infectious diseases. From this CoP, we provide a series of best practices to improve linkage to HCV treatment for pregnant and postpartum women, including specific interventions to enhance co-location of services, treatment by non-specialist providers, active engagement and patient navigation, and decreasing time to HCV treatment initiation. The CoP aims to further support antenatal providers in improving linkage to care by producing and disseminating detailed operational guidance and recommendations and supporting operational research on models for linkage and treatment. Additionally, the CoP may be leveraged to build training materials and toolkits for antenatal providers, convene experts to formalize operational recommendations, and conduct surveys to understand needs of antenatal providers. Such actions are required to ensure equitable access to HCV treatment for women diagnosed with HCV in pregnancy and urgently needed to achieve the ambitious targets for HCV elimination by 2030.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology