NIH Funding | Hep C & Substance Using Populations (Rolling due dates)

National Institutes of HealthThis FOA offers the opportunity to conduct exploratory clinical and basic research focused on prevention and treatment of HCV for at-risk substance using populations, including those infected with or at risk for HIV.



This FOA would support, but is not limited to, research on the following issues:

  • Refining HCV screening technologies and testing algorithms to better characterize those populations at risk for HCV (e.g., rural and suburban young adult IDUs; HIV+ MSM with drug use);
  • Identifying individual, environmental, and relational network factors which place IDU at high risk for HCV and HIV acquisition and transmission;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of various strategies to improve HCV testing rates for asymptomatic and/or at-risk individuals in primary care, drug treatment, and/or other health care settings;
  • Evaluating strategies to facilitate access to RNA testing to confirm virologic status in those individuals who initially test positive on rapid HCV point-of-care antibody testing in non-medical settings.
  • Testing HCV/HIV preventive and risk reduction strategies among at risk populations;
  • Assessing current prevention efforts or developing prevention modalities for individuals injecting opiates formulated for oral use;
  • Developing strategies to maximize access to and engagement of at-risk populations in HCV/HIV treatment, including strategies to optimize HCV treatment adherence, particularly with DAA regimens;
  • Measuring the impact of engagement in HCV treatment and care on injection and non-injection drug users risk behavior and/or HCV/HIV transmission;
  • Examining models of care to coordinate rapid point of care HCV testing and HCV/HIV prevention and treatment in various systems of care for at-risk populations (e.g., Federally Qualified Health Centers, emergency departments, drug abuse and opiate treatment programs, infectious disease clinics, criminal justice settings);
  • Assessing access to, use of, and effectiveness of newer HCV treatment regimens for at-risk substance using populations;
  • Assessing provider attitudes, issues, barriers regarding HCV screening and treatment for injection and non-injection drug users;
  • Measuring the capacity of treatment providers and related service delivery organizations to adopt and integrate HCV testing and preventive and treatment interventions
  • Testing community-based structural approaches to enhance HCV prevention and treatment strategies;
  • Investigating HCV treatment outcomes that take into account: HCV genotype; completion of treatment with or without sustained virologic response; race/ethnicity; age; coinfection (HIV) status; and comorbid conditions, e.g., neurocognitive status;
  • Exploring the role of genetic variability, epigenetic processes, and non-coding RNAs in HCV progression and treatment response in drug using populations;
  • Studying the drug-drug interactions between antiviral and DAA agents, drug of abuse, and medications used to treat substance dependence, and the best practices for managing them;
  • Employ in vitro and animal models to investigate drug-drug interactions between HCV protease inhibitors (telaprevir and boceprevir), drugs of abuse, and antiretroviral agents for developing strategies for safe and effective hepatitis C treatment;
  • Studying the impact of substance abuse and HIV infection on: 1) HCV disease progression in dually diagnosed HCV/HIV infected populations; and 2) in HCV ‘superclearers’ and in those who get re-infected.

For more information and how to apply, see here 



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