The cdc’s first estimates of hepatitis c treatment, presented at the 2021 american association for the study of liver disease (aasld) meetingexternal icon, show the number of people living with hepatitis c in the usa In the US, who started treatment with direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), decreased from 2015 to 2020.
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The CDC analysis found that about 843,000 people started treatment with DAAS between 2014 and 2020, with an average of about 120,000 people treated each year. this number is well below the national public health goals for hepatitis c. in 2015, the national academies of science and medicineexternal icon estimated that at least 260,000 people with hepatitis c would need to receive treatment annually to achieve elimination of hepatitis c in the united states. by 2030. Today, this is likely an underestimate of what is needed, given years of undertreatment coupled with continuing increases in new hepatitis C infections driven by the nation’s opioid crisis.
cdc estimates that about 2.4 million people were living with hepatitis c in the united states during 2013-2016.
New challenges to hepatitis C treatment emerge as other barriers are broken down
Progress has been made against key barriers to hepatitis C treatment in recent years. Since 2015, many states have removed policy restrictions that prevented people living with hepatitis C from accessing treatment, and new CDC treatment estimates show that, from 2014 to 2020, the proportion of hepatitis C claims paid by Medicaid tripled.
In addition, the cost of hepatitis C treatment has decreased due to increased competition from drug manufacturers, lower cost contracting programs, and innovative government treatment models.
Despite these achievements, some barriers remain, and new barriers, including the covid-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis, present challenges to closing gaps in drug testing and treatment. hepatitis c.
barriers to treatment still remain in many state medicaid policies, such as:
- restrictions on the types of providers that can administer the treatment
- patient sobriety requirements that may deter people from seeking life-saving treatment
- prior authorization processes before treatment can begin
- Stay-at-home orders that suspended or delayed many routine medical visits
- avoid seeking medical and preventive services in a health care setting, particularly in emergency departments and primary care settings where most hepatitis c testing is done
- reducing the operation of syringe service programs (ssps) and other clinics or health care settings, which could provide hepatitis testing services and linkage to care for people at higher risk of infection with the virus hepatitis c
- 20-29 years old. acute hepatitis c case rate: 0.7 (2009) 2.9 (2019)
- 30-39 years old. acute hepatitis c case rate 0.5 (2009) 3.2 (2019)
The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused significant disruptions in access to Hepatitis C testing and treatment services, including:
the opioid crisis continues to change the course of the hepatitis c epidemic
Acute hepatitis c infections reported to the cdc quadrupled between 2009 and 2019, with injection drug use being the most reported risk factor for hepatitis c among cases reporting risk factors (67% in 2019). The rate of new hepatitis C infections has increased most among younger adults, with injection drug use the main route of transmission.
harm reduction programs and intervention, such as syringe service programs and substance use disorder treatment, are essential to reduce bloodborne infections, including hepatitis c, among people who drugs are injected. connecting people who inject drugs with hepatitis c testing and treatment services is critical to reducing hepatitis c transmission.
hepatitis c tests & treatment is essential to save lives and prevent transmission
Reaching more people with hepatitis c testing and treatment is critical to saving lives and preventing transmission of this deadly but curable infection. Hepatitis C treatment can cure more than 90 percent of Hepatitis C cases, but testing is a critical first step. It is estimated that 40 percent of people with hepatitis C in the US. uu. from 2015 to 2018 they were unaware of their infection.
since 2020, the cdc has recommended hepatitis c screening for all adults once and pregnant people during each pregnancy, and periodic testing for all strong>people with risk factors.