Leading Liver and ID Experts to Develop
Hepatitis C Practice Recommendations
Recognizing the rapid
development of hepatitis C medications coupled with increasing numbers of
people being identified with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the American
Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases
Society of America (IDSA) are collaborating to develop clinical recommendations
for the management of hepatitis C.
New medications approved by the Food
and Drug Administration in recent years have increased HCV cure rates, and
several additional medications are expected to be approved in the next three
to five years. At the same time, new HCV testing guidelines are expected to
increase the number of patients diagnosed with hepatitis C, many of whom
currently are HCV-infected but unaware of their status. Ensuring that patients
receive the new, effective treatment will be critical in increasing cure rates
for hepatitis C. "We can finally say that cure of HCV infection has become a
real possibility for the majority of individuals infected with this deadly
virus," said Gary Davis, MD, of AASLD.
"Members of AASLD and IDSA are
committed to ensuring that patient care keeps pace with rapidly advancing
science," said David Relman, MD, president of IDSA. "This effort is an
important step toward advancing that goal and comes at an important time as we
all work to raise awareness of hepatitis virus infections on World Hepatitis
Day on July 28."
Through this collaboration, the societies will review
current treatment recommendations and use evidence-based, consensus guidance
to develop updated recommendations for managing patients. Recommendations will
be updated regularly and made available online. "A web-based system of new
recommendations coupled with a published annual update will afford the
greatest opportunity for both rapid and comprehensive output," said Donald M.
Jensen, MD, of AASLD.
About Hepatitis C
C is a liver disease resulting from chronic infection with the hepatitis C
virus (HCV). It is estimated that between 3 million and 4 million Americans
are infected with HCV and have chronic liver disease as a result. Because
symptoms of HCV infection may not appear for many years, more than 70 percent
are unaware they are infected.
Earlier this year, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention recommended an age-based screening strategy
consisting of a one-time test for HCV for those at highest risk, including
everyone born between 1945 and 1965. This recommendation was endorsed by the
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in June 2013. The broader testing
recommendations likely will detect a substantial number of people who are
unaware they are infected.
According to a July 10, 2013 article
published in The Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA), deaths
from liver disease increased from 1990 to 2010. HCV is the most likely cause
of the emergence of liver disease as a growing threat to Americans. Early
testing enables people who are infected to receive treatment as soon as
possible, and prevent progression to more serious disease, such as cirrhosis
and liver cancer.
Currently available drugs and the next generation of
direct-acting antivirals that will likely be available later this year offer
the potential to treat and cure most patients with HCV infection. Therefore,
up-to-date recommendations for the medical management of these patients and
their treatment are critically important.
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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