Published:13 November 2019
Approximately 71 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), and around 1.75 million more acquire the virus annually, according to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), which sponsors the conference.
In 2016, World Health Organization member states committed to eliminating viral hepatitis, with targets including an 80% reduction in new hepatitis B and C infections and a 65% reduction in mortality by 2030. Studies have shown that these targets are achievable, but to date countries have had variable success in moving toward them.
The new statement, signed by representatives of AASLD, the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the Latin American Association for the Study of the Liver (ALEH) and the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL), calls for efforts to simplify HCV testing and treatment in order to make them more widely available, especially in resource-limited settings.
The four associations, which are undertaking this initiative in partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), outlined four strategies to achieve this goal:
- Simplifying diagnosis and treatment algorithms
- Integrating hepatitis C treatment into primary care and other disease programmes
- Decentralising HCV services to the local level
- Task-sharing with primary care clinicians and other health care practitioners.