Why you need to know about 90-90-90

Have you heard of the new 90-90-90 goals for Hepatitis C? The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced aggressive targets for ending the Hepatitis C epidemic by 2030:

  • 90% of people infected are diagnosed
  • 90% of eligible people are treated
  • 90% of those treated are cured

Epidemic, you ask? Yes. For just as the spread of AIDS is still regarded as an epidemic, Hepatitis C is considered an impending public health crisis worldwide. In the United States, approximately 3.5 million people are infected with Hepatitis C1. The CDC recently announced that Hep C now kills more Americans each year than 60 other infectious diseases combined, including HIV and tuberculosis2. That makes it the deadliest infectious disease in America today.

The good news is that new drugs, including newer direct-acting antivirals and combinations, treat Hep C far more successfully, with fewer side effects and shorter duration, potentially improving patient adherence.

So new treatments are bringing new hope that, together, healthcare providers and labs can help to drive WHO’s goals of getting most infected patients diagnosed, treated and cured. But first we need to know who those patients are. Among those at high risk of HCV infection are three groups that would benefit from extra vigilance:

Baby boomers3

  • People born 1945–1965 are five times as likely to have Hep C
  • Up to 75% of US adults infected with HCV are baby boomers
  • Baby boomers are at greatest risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and other HCV-related liver disease
  • In 2012, CDC started recommending HCV testing for everyone born from 1945–1965

People with HIV4,5

  • About 25% of people with HIV are co-infected with HCV

Injection Drug Users (IDUs)

  • At least 75% of new Hepatitis C cases result from injection drug use6,7
  • Each IDU infected with HCV is likely to infect another 20 others8
  • Many IDUs are at risk for HIV-HCV co-infection, which more than triples the risk for liver disease, liver failure, and liver-related death from HCV9

 

What you can do

Make sure your patients who are at risk for Hep C infection, including the groups noted above, are screened for Hep C. (For additional risk categories, see CDC and USPTSF recommendations.) Here’s how you can spread the word among patients about Hep C so we can stop the spread of Hep C:

Display an infographic poster about Hep C in your waiting room. You can download the poster here.

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Distribute this educational brochure to your patients or ask your Quest sales representative for a printed supply.

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Forward this link to patients or share on your practice web site. It offers patient-focused Hep C information and includes other resources, such as a patient video and risk assessment quiz.

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There’s a lot we can all do to defeat Hep C by 2030. Let’s work together to make it happen.

 

1 Edlin BR, et al. Toward a more accurate estimate of the prevalence of hepatitis C in the United States. Hepatology.2015 Nov;62(5):1353–63. doi: 10.1002/hep.27978. Epub 2015 Aug 25.
2 CDC. Rising mortality associated with hepatitis c virus in the United States, 2003–2013. Clin Infect Dis. 2016;62(10):1287–88.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations for the identification of chronic hepatitis C virus infection among persons born during 1945–1965. MMWR. Vol. 61 / No. 4 August 17, 2012.
4 Hellard M, Sacks-Davis R, Gold J. Hepatitis C treatment for injection drug users: a review of the available evidence. Clin lnfect Dis. 2009;49:561–73.
5 Suryaprasad AG, White JZ, Xu F, Ei.,hk:r B, Hamilton J, Patel A, et al. Emerging epidemic of hepatitis C virus infections among young nonurban persons who inject drugs in the United States, 2006-2012. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;59:14 l–9.
6 Hellard M, Sacks-Davis R, Gold J. Hepatitis C treatment for injection drug users: a review of the available evidence. Clin lnfect Dis. 2009;49:561–73.
7 Suryaprasad AG, White JZ, Xu F, Ei.,hk:r B, Hamilton J, Patel A, et al. Emerging epidemic of hepatitis C virus infections among young nonurban persons who inject drugs in the United States, 2006–2012. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;59:14 l–9.
8 Magiorkinis, G, et al., Integrating phylodynamics and epidemiology to estimate transmission diversity in viral epidemics.PLoS Comput Biol, 2013;9(1): p. e1002876.
9 National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. HIV and viral hepatitis. 2014. Available at www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library_factsheets_hiv_and_viral_hepatitis.pdf. Accessed June 3, 2016.

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