Less than 10% of people with hepatitis C receive proper treatment

Less than 10% of people with hepatitis C receive proper treatment

It is estimated that less than 25% of hepatitis C virus infections have been diagnosed in the world, and that less than 10% of people with this virus receive the newest and most effective treatment.

A recently presented study detailed that the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infections decreased from 63.7 million in early 2015 to 56.9 million in early 2020, that is, almost 7 million fewer cases over a five-year period. This was reported by the news service of the Working Group on HIV Treatment (gTt-HIV), which closely follows the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD, for its acronym in English).

There are currently an estimated 71 million people in the world who have hepatitis C, an infection that can cause cirrhosis and other liver problems that can lead to death.

Since it is a curable disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) set, in 2016, a series of goals to eliminate hepatitis B and C as public health threats by 2030.

The challenge of access to treatment 

Following the WHO initiative, countries began to collect information more systematically  on their epidemics of hepatitis C, an infection that is often related to HIV, since both viruses are transmitted through the bloodstream.

According to the data of the aforementioned study, in most of the countries of the world the prevalence of hepatitis C varied (increased or decreased) less than 10% between 2015 and 2019. Once the coronavirus pandemic was established in 2020, there were five countries (China , Pakistan, India, Russia and the United States) which accounted for more than half of the new hepatitis C infections (or at least, the most recorded).

The researchers concluded that treatment with direct-acting antivirals (which are capable of eradicating the hepatitis C virus) is highly concentrated in only a few countries. In addition, the rates of diagnosis are very low as there are practically no detection programs, which means that the world remains a long way from achieving elimination of this virus by 2030.

When treatment is available, it is best to detect infections. At AHF Latin America and the Caribbean we offer you free HIV tests. Come to our closest office in your country or write to us on WhatsApp.