Hepatitis C Policy Project: Priority Issues

Elimination of Hepatitis C

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have set a goal to eliminate Hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030.


Elimination of Hepatitis C in the U.S. would result in the significant reduction of the incidence of the infection - to the point where cases of the infection are rare and sporadic - as a result of deliberate efforts, with ongoing efforts to maintain the zero prevalence.

In 2017, HHS released its 2017-2020 Viral Hepatitis Action Plan to set the course for elimination of Hepatitis B and C in the U.S.

Key Goals of the plan to work toward elimination are by 2020 to:

  • Decrease the number of new HCV infections by at least 60%
  • Increase the number of persons aware of their HCV infection to 66%
  • Reduce the number of HCV-related deaths by 25%
  • Reduce the number of new HCV infections in persons ages 20-39 by at least 60%

In 2016 and 2017. The National Academies of Sciences released a 2- part report on the Feasibility of Eliminating Hepatitis B and C in the U.S.


The availability of curative HCV drug treatments could make Hepatitis C elimination a reality, but only if those infected know their status, get treatment, and complete the course of therapy.


Report

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017-2020

Cover of: National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, 2017-2020

Key Points

Elimination of Hepatitis C is feasible, but critical barriers must first be addressed:

1) *Poor Surveillance for HCV

2) Too few people know their status/inadequate screening

3) High Cost of HCV treatment drugs

4) Stigma associated with HCV infection

5) Public opinion that does not deem HCV as a public health priority, due to misinformation and lack of awareness of the illness