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Hepatitis C

Appropriate use of molecular tests for HCV can result in better diagnosis and influence treatment decisions in patients with Hepatitis C
HIV and associated blood borne co-infections, HBV and HCV together create an epidemic of co-infections – ‘the perfect storm’ – that overwhelms us with its magnitude and impact on lives worldwide. Recently approved and validated, promising diagnostics and treatment options for HBV and HCV, have for the first time, instilled hope of reverting their global trajectory. With this welcomed change, the global HBV and HCV disease burden stands at the threshold of change. Affordable RNA and DNA-based POC tests for HBV and HCV will help transform the turnaround time with actionable results for many patients.  
Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is more common in HIV individuals than in the general population. Early detection allows prompt treatment, reducing the risk of transmission to HCV uninfected individuals.

The Future of HCV Therapy

New improved, interferon-free drugs offer the potential to eliminate HCV but in order to do this we need to have programmes to better find undiagnosed HCV infected individuals and instigate prompt treatment.
HCV is an important cause of chronic liver disease in the Middle East. Specific strategies for Hepatitis C screening in selected risk groups need to be implemented to reduce the future burden of HCV infection.
The diagnosis of HCV infection has high cost and is time consuming for clinical laboratories.The addition of HCV antigen testing to the battery of laboratory HCV tests and the application of a cost efficient testing algorithm warrants further consideration.
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