Global eradication of hepatitis C virus

Mark Loeb

Are new antiviral agents used in the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection potentially capable of achieving global eradication of HCV infection similar to the eradication of smallpox thanks to vaccinations? If yes, how long could it take?

Mark Loeb: It is very, very difficult to say exactly how long but there are 3 important components for this to happen. The first component is, it is important for people to be screened for hepatitis C. That is a challenge because not all countries have the ability to screen for hepatitis C universally. That is really a key thing that has to be done.

The second thing is education. People have to be educated about how not to transmit hepatitis C. That is really important.

The third is, those people who are screened and are positive have to be treated promptly. It is a big, global challenge and I would say it is very difficult to estimate how long that would take because there are so many different variables.

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