In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) set a target for eliminating viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030. However, while today's highly effective and well-tolerated pangenotypic direct-acting antiviral regimens have maximized simplification of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, there remain a plethora of barriers to HCV screening, diagnosis, and linkage to care. As of 2017, only 19% of the estimated 71 million individuals living with chronic HCV worldwide were diagnosed and in 2015 to 2016, only 21% of diagnosed individuals had accessed treatment. Simplification and decentralization of the HCV care cascade would bolster patient engagement and support the considerable scale-up needed to achieve WHO targets. Recent developments in HCV screening and diagnosis, together with reduced pretreatment assessment and on-treatment monitoring requirements, can further streamline the care continuum, ensuring patients are linked to care quickly and earlier in the disease course, and minimize clinic visits.
- care cascade
- hepatitis C virus