NSW Ministry of Health
NSW Health has committed to the virtual elimination of HIV by 2020 and elimination of hepatitis C (HCV) as a public health concern by 2028. The DBS testing pilot is an innovative finger-prick test for HCV and HIV that can be accessed online or at participating services. DBS was added to the mix of testing options in NSW to increase access for people who experience barriers to conventional testing and is available for at-risk and hard to reach groups.
Between September 2017 and June 2019, there were 3,642 DBS registrations. Out of 2,684 tests completed, 8 were detectable for HIV and 206 were detectable for HCV (table 1). All patients were linked into care through the Sexual Health Info Link. The DBS pilot provides equitable access for at-risk groups and is a unique tool in achieving virtual elimination of HIV and HCV in NSW.