A nurse-led intervention improved blood-borne virus testing and vaccination in Victorian prisons

Rebecca J. Winter, Bethany White, Stuart A. Kinner, Mark Stoové, Rebecca Guy, Margaret E. Hellard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Testing is the first step in treatment and care for blood-borne viruses (BBVs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As new treatments for viral hepatitis emerge, it is important to document effective models for BBV/STI testing. A nurse-led intervention was implemented across three prisons in Victoria to improve BBV/STI testing. We evaluated the impact of the intervention on BBV/STI testing rates and hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination for reception prisoners. Methods: BBV/STI testing and HBV vaccination data were collected from the medical files of 100 consecutive reception prisoners at three prisons (n=300) prior to and after the intervention was implemented. Results: BBV testing increased significantly from 21% of prisoners to 62% post-intervention. Testing for some STIs increased significantly, but remained low: 5% to 17% for chlamydia and 1% to 5% for gonorrhoea. HBV vaccination increased significantly from 2% to 19%. Conclusions: The nurse-led intervention resulted in substantially increased testing and vaccination, demonstrating the benefits of a concerted effort to improve BBV and STI management in correctional settings. Implications: The availability of new treatments for hepatitis C has precipitated expansion of treatment in prisons. Improving the testing rate of prisoners, the first step in the treatment cascade, will maximise the benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-594
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • diagnostic services
  • immunisation
  • prisons
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • viral hepatitis

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