Successful Treatment of Hepatitis C at SIG

In a recent electronic medical records review, the physicians at Specialists in Gastroenterology (SIG) have treated and cured over 100 patients with hepatitis C. SIG has been treating hepatitis C for over 20 years. Cure of hepatitis C is a reality. They are confident with the new drug regimens that are currently available that the number of patients with hepatitis C who will be cured will skyrocket.

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a major blood-borne human pathogen affecting approximately 3% of the global population. The most important route of transmission in developed countries is injection drug use. If untreated, most acute infections progress to chronic infection and liver disease. Progression to advanced liver disease and liver cancer is influenced by several cofactors, the most important being alcohol abuse and fatty liver. Approximately one third of all adult elective liver transplantations carried out each year are performed on patients with complications of HCV infection. HCV infection is a major public health issue that deserves to be tackled with strong policy interventions aimed at identifying and effectively treating HCV-infected patients to reduce the future burden of disease.

Current CDC and US Preventive Services Task Force and AASLD-IDSA guidelines recommend that all adults born between 1945 and 1965 receive one-time testing for HCV infection without previous ascertainment of HCV risk. Anti-HCV screening in other populations should be based on risk assessment, with one-time HCV testing recommended for all individuals with a history of illicit injection drug use, intranasal illicit drug use, history of long-term hemodialysis, receiving a tattoo in an unregulated facility/setting, healthcare workers upon accidental exposure, children born to anti-HCV–positive mothers, history of transfusion with blood or organ transplantation, including persons who: were notified that donor subsequently had a positive HCV test, received transfusion or transplant before July 1992, were administered clotting factor concentrates manufactured before 1987, were ever in prison, HIV infection, chronic liver disease/hepatitis with unknown cause, including elevated liver enzymes.

The goal of antiviral therapy for patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is virologic cure. Eradication of HCV RNA, which remains undetectable long term off therapy, is referred to as a sustained virologic response and is now an increasingly achievable prospect thanks to the availability of direct-acting antivirals. These are currently available and the physicians at Specialists in Gastroenterolgy have cured over 100 people with hepatitis C. Cure from hepatitis C is now a reality.