Icelandic program seeks to eliminate HCV

March 7, 2018, Wiley
Electron micrographs of hepatitis C virus purified from cell culture. Scale bar is 50 nanometers. Credit: Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, The Rockefeller University.

A new Journal of Internal Medicine study describes an innovative program to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a public health threat in Iceland.

In the TraP Hep C program, which started in January 2016, an emphasis is placed on finding early cases and treating patients at high risk for transmitting HCV: people who inject drugs. All patients with national health insurance are offered treatment regardless of fibrosis stage and .

The program includes a multidisciplinary public health model of care and cooperation between government, health services, the penitentiary system, and community organizations. The results of the Icelandic project will provide important data and inform others globally trying to achieve the World Health Organization's goal of HCV elimination by 2030.

"So far this project has been extremely well received by patients, and we are aiming to complete the active treatment phase, encompassing all known cases in the country, by the end of 2018," said senior author Dr. Magnus Gottfredsson, of the University of Iceland.

Explore further: More than one third of U.S. HIV patients fail to receive vaccination for hepatitis B

More information: S. Olafsson et al, Treatment as Prevention for Hepatitis C (TraP Hep C) - a nationwide elimination programme in Iceland using direct-acting antiviral agents, Journal of Internal Medicine (2018). DOI: 10.1111/joim.12740

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