New research published in The Lancet suggests that if improvements in public health interventions for hepatitis C are made, the global elimination targets of reducing new infections by 80% could be met in 2030, and the target to reduce mortality by 65% could be met in 2032.
The study modelled the impact of four public health interventions (provision of treatment for all patients at diagnosis; expansion of testing; implementation of blood safety and infection control measures; and expansion of harm reduction services for people who inject drugs) in order to assess whether elimination targets set by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 can be met, given the present situation.
If current trends continue, the analysis finds, the estimated number of people living with hepatitis C will decrease, but a rise in cases could be seen near the end of the century. If access to new treatments does not improve, outcomes may be worse, with higher rates of mortality and new infections.
Effective interventions could significantly reduce the number of new infections and future mortality rates. Although eliminating hepatitis C will involve considerable practical challenges and significant cost, the authors note that many countries are already making progress to this end.
Read the full research article on The Lancet here.
Heffernan, A., Cooke, G. S., Nayagam, A., Thursz, M., and Hallett, T. B. (2019) Scaling up prevention and treatment towards the elimination of hepatitis C: a global mathematical model. The Lancet, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32277-3.
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