The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA), today released the latest section of their website, www.hcvguidelines.org, which assists clinicians treating patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The new section is titled, “When and in Whom to Initiate HCV Therapy.”
It is estimated that between 3 and 4 million Americans are infected with HCV and have chronic liver disease as a result. Recent direct-acting antivirals are extremely effective in treating the virus and hold great potential for cure. However, limitations of workforce and societal resources may limit the feasibility of treating all patients within a short period of time.
With the addition of the new section, www.hcvguidance.org now offers clinicians information on how to prioritize treatment for those patients who will derive the most benefit or will have the greatest impact on limiting further HCV transmission. Highest priority should be given to patients with advanced fibrosis with compensated cirrhosis and liver transplant recipients and high priority given to patients at high risk for liver-related complications and severe extra-hepatic HCV complications. The guidance provides further detailed information on additional conditions that warrant prioritization of treatment.
The website, developed by a panel of 27 liver disease and infectious diseases specialists and a patient advocate, provides recommendations based on the latest evidence and on consensus of the panelists. It will be updated regularly to keep pace with improved diagnostic tools and new drug options as they become available.
“The benefits of curing HCV are clear from the standpoint of individual patients as well as that of the health and welfare of our society. This new guidance will help clinicians determine the best course of therapy for each patient given their unique condition,” said Barbara Murray, MD, president of IDSA.
The three organizations will continue to work together to provide future sections of the guidance website as well as timely updates. The next two sections are underway and cover monitoring patients following treatment and management of acute HCV infection.
“New therapies recently approved by the FDA and those that are in the pipeline and will reach market soon will completely change the landscape for patients with hepatitis C,” said Steven Echard, AASLD chief executive officer. “We have filled a void in providing reputable and timely information to healthcare providers and their patients by addressing whom to treat and when, as well as identifying patients that are in immediate need of treatment and those who can safely wait for the next generation of drugs.”
About the AASLD
AASLD is a medical subspecialty society representing clinicians and researchers in liver disease. The work of our members has laid the foundation for the development of drugs used to treat patients with viral hepatitis. Access to care and support of liver disease research are at the center of AASLD’s advocacy efforts.
AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. AASLD was founded in 1950 by a small group of leading liver specialists and has grown to an international society responsible for all aspects of hepatology.
Press releases and additional information about AASLD are available online at www.aasld.org.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is an organization of physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to promoting health through excellence in infectious diseases research, education, prevention, and patient care. The Society, which has nearly 10,000 members, was founded in 1963 and is based in Arlington, VA. For more information, see www.idsociety.org.
Visit www.idsociety.org/Hepatitis_C to access IDSA’s extensive collection of resources on hepatitis C, including the Society’s Core Curriculum for HPV at www.idsociety.org/HCV_Curriculum/#Introduction.
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