Hep C: Public Health Achievement Requires Immediate Application of Interventions

FEBRUARY 14, 2017
Amy Jacob

John W. Ward, MD, from the CDC said that his team has been working with the Institute of Medicine to "lay out the blueprint" for what's necessary to eliminate hepatitis C in the country. "We have the drugs that can prevent the liver disease, the liver cancer that kills people with hepatitis c, and we have interventions that can interrupt transmission. So, let's put all those together and truly eliminate this from the country," Ward said.

Ward continued to explain that some states, like New York, have already gotten the message about how hepatitis C can be eliminated and are already taking action of their own while they wait for national reporting. They’re bringing together clinicians, health system experts, policy makers, and community organizations to really develop a community-based approach to elimination. 

At CROI 2017, Ward shared with MD Magazine, that researchers need to turn their attention toward the rising number of young people becoming infected with hepatitis C. "We have an opioid crises around the world, meaning many young people began using opioids and inject themselves, leading to transmission among people who are sharing that injection equipment. We've had a 150% increase in the number of new cases of hepatitis C in the country, and almost all of those cases are among persons less than 30 years of age," Ward concluded.

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