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Hepatitis C is a viral infectious disease that is a major cause of liver disease around the world. By the 1970s, it was recognized that many hepatitis cases were not due to the known hepatitis A or hepatitis B viruses. It was not until 1989 when the virus, then known as non--‐A, non--‐B hepatitis, was identified as a new distinct virus, hepatitis C. The virus has seven major genotypes, with genotype 1 causing about 75% of cases in the United States. By 1990, a screening test for the virus was developed, and within a year, the first treatment for the virus was approved.1 Research through the 1990s and into the early 2000s improved treatment options. Before 2011, the standard of care treatment for hepatitis C consisted of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, which successfully cured between 45% and 80% of individuals, depending on the specific genotype of HCV. In recent years, new treatments consisting of a combination of ledpiasivir, sofosbuvir, ribavirin, and pegylated interferon have improved the cure rate to up to 99% in some genotypes.2 These drugs work without the many severe side effects of older classes of drugs, which had a relatively high risk of causing life threatening hemolytic anemia.3 However, the cost of these new treatments can approach $100,000 for a twelve--‐week therapy, making the cost of treatment prohibitively expensive for many Americans. 4

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Hepatitis C Screening in the Homeless Population of Philadelphia, CWIC-PH, College within a college, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Jefferson College of Population Health


Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health

Hepatitis C Screening in the Homeless Population of Philadelphia

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