Lege Artis Medicinae

[Vision or reality? Can Hungary become hepatitis C virus free by 2030?]

GERVAIN Judit

AUGUST 30, 2018

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2018;28(06-07)

[According to the WHO, there are 71 million people worldwide and 3 million people in the EU who are infected with hepatitis C virus. Most of these infections, however, remain undiagnosed and only 6-7% of them received antiviral therapy. In Hun-gary, there are an estimated 50.000 infections, out of these 20.000 are identified, the remaining 30.000 infections are outside the reach of the health care sector. Early diagnosis and therapy are of utmost importance as late diagnosis leads to se-vere liver insufficiency, hepatocellular carcinoma and multiple other extrahepatic organ impacts. In Hungary, second generation direct acting enzyme inhibitor antiviral medications with a recovery rate of almost 100% are available since 2015. Since 2018, all patients are treated with this type of therapy. Nevertheless, there are several remaining professional, organisational and health policy issues to solve. Firstly, Hungary should join the EU’s HCV elimination programme which aims to eradicate hepatitis C virus from Europe by 2030. Secondly, the frequency and efficiency of national screening should be increased. Furthermore, better information of the general population, inclusion of general practitioners and civil organisations, and introduction of the compulsory screening of high risk groups and health care professionals would be necessary. This review summarises the evolution of hepatitis C virus diagnostics and therapy over the past three decades, current best practice and the still outstanding tasks. ]

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