HCVguidelines.org — a website developed by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America to provide up-to-date guidance on the management of hepatitis C — was recently revised to reflect important developments in the identification and management of chronic hepatitis C (HCV).
Notably, the guidance includes an important new recommendation that all adults be screened for HCV. In addition to universal screening for hepatitis C, the guidance emphasizes universal treatment.
The update includes:
· A simplified treatment algorithm for patients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis, who have never been treated for HCV, for use by primary care providers.
· New treatment recommendations for children ages 3-11.
· A recommendation that patients with acute HCV be treated without a waiting period.
· Updates to all treatment sections, including removal of less efficacious, complex, alternative regimens, and regimens no longer available in the U.S.
· The update also includes new information about management of hepatitis C in patients receiving transplantation of organs from HCV-infected donors, an emerging area of the field.
“HCV has been called ‘the silent killer’ because of its ability to damage the liver while causing few or no symptoms. Identifying patients who don’t know they are infected is key to stopping the spread of the disease. Our Panel has always recommended screening high-risk populations, but several studies now demonstrate that routine, one-time HCV testing among all adults in the U.S. would likely identify a substantial number of HCV cases that are currently being missed, and that doing so would be cost-effective. This is why we now recommend universal screening of adults,” said HCV Guidance Co-Chairs, Drs. Marc G. Ghany, Kristen M. Marks, Timothy R. Morgan, and David L. Wyles.
“The good news is that once new HCV cases are identified, there are safe and effective treatments that can cure more than 95 percent of people. We believe that the improved testing and treatment strategies described in the Guidance will bring us closer to achieving the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating HCV infection as a public health threat by 2030,” they added.