Date: July 28, 2022
Time: 6:00am (PDT), 9:00am (EDT)
Hepatitis B and C continues to be a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality, resulting in 1.1 million deaths and 3 million new infections per year1. Although effective pan-genotypic direct acting antiviral2 therapies have cure rates exceeding 95%3,4, new HCV infections continue to be on the rise largely due to the opioid crisis6. In order to reach the WHO goal of HCV disease elimination by 2030, improving diagnostic algorithms and linking individuals to low barrier care will be imperative. At present, there are an estimated 58 million4 people living with chronic HCV infection worldwide, many of whom may be unaware of their infection5. The first step in patient diagnosis is implementing effective HCV screening programs to identify people infected with the virus and to connect them to care programs. Leveraging the Anti-HCV diagnostic test and reflexing to HCV Ag allows laboratories to provide a patient diagnosis with a single blood draw and may greatly reduce screening costs in various settings by improving the efficiency of the screening algorithm.
1. World Hepatitis Day 2021, WHO https://www.who.intcampaignsworld-hepatitis-day2021 Accessed 07-01-2022
2. Zoratti M.J. Siddiqua A., Morassut R.E., Zeraatkar D., Chou R., Holten J., Xie F., Druyts E. Elsevier Clinical Medicine. 2020; 18, 100237.
3. Collins L.F., Chan A., et al. OFID. 2017; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5753271/pdf/ofx264.pdf, accessed March 9, 2022.
4. Hepatitis C. World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-c. Accessed February 5, 2022.
5. Know your hepatitis status – increasing access to testing for a hidden infection. World Health Organization website: http://www.who.int/features/2016/access-hepatitis-testing/en/ Published July 2016. Accessed April 3, 2018.
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Viral Hepatitis Surveillance—United States, 2018. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2020. Accessed August 9, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/statistics/2018surveillance/index.htm
- Understand the public health challenges associated with the hepatitis C virus despite highly effective direct acting anti-viral treatments
- Learn how to establish screening programs to ensure populations with a higher prevalence of HCV are diagnosed
- Recognize the opportunity to leverage the HCV Ag diagnostic test as part of the HCV testing algorithm, which eliminates the two-step HCV RNA process and may be cost-saving in many environments.
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