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Keywords:

  • cure;
  • direct-acting antiviral;
  • linkage to care;
  • prevention;
  • testing;
  • universal screening

Abstract

Worldwide eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is possible through a combination of prevention education, universal clinical and targeted community screening, effective linkage to care and treatment with promising new direct-acting antiviral drug regimens. Universal screening should be offered in all healthcare visits, and parallel community screening efforts should prioritize high-prevalence, high-transmission populations including injection drug users, prison inmates and those with HIV/HCV co-infection. Increasing awareness of HCV infection through screening, improving treatment uptake and cure rates by providing linkage to care and more effective treatment, and ultimately combining education efforts with vaccination campaigns to prevent transmission and reinfection can slow and eventually stop the ‘silent epidemic’.