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The millions of Americans infected with hepatitis C virus – including those infected by reuse of needles and vials in a long series of health care outbreaks – have every reason to hope they can be cured.
In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that those born between 1945-1965 seek HCV testing, in part because new treatments were becoming available. It is estimated that between 3 and 4 million Americans are infected with HCV and have chronic liver disease as a result.
New direct-acting antiviral drugs have the potential to cure most patient s with HCV, according to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). However, the rapid pace of drug development has left medical providers and insurance companies in need of guidance about the new treatments.
As a result, AASLD, the IDSA and the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA), have created a new website: HCVguidelines.org to provideup-to-date guidance for the treatment of HCV infection.
The website is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the two medical professional societies and IAS-USA. A panel of 26 liver disease and infectious diseases specialists, as well as a patient advocate, developed evidenced-based, consensus recommendations for the screening, treatment and management of patients with HCV. This guidance will be made available for health care providers who treat the disease and others who need updated information on the best practices. The site will be updated regularly to keep pace with improved diagnostic tools and new drug options as they meet Food and Drug Administration approval.
“In just the past three months, two new medications became available for treating HCV that hold a great deal of promise for patients living with this disease, and more are expected,” says Barbara Murray, MD, FIDSA, president of IDSA.