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Point-of-Care Testing - Advancing Diagnosis of Current
Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Key to Hepatitis C Elimination in the United States
  Download the PDF here
Download the PDF here
Download the PDF here
To achieve HCV elimination, improvements in the HCV diagnostics field to allow for a simple single-step diagnosis are required.
To achieve HCV elimination, a paradigm shift in access to HCV treatment is needed from multiday testing and treatment algorithms to same-day diagnosis and treatment - for many years we've been discussing a true "test & treat" approach.
Testing is the first step to accessing life-saving treatment; however, about one-third of people with hepatitis C in the United States are unaware of their infection [1].
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hepatitis C screening for all adults at least once, all pregnant persons during every pregnancy, and all persons with risk, including periodic testing if risk persists [7].
Current testing guidance for clinicians and laboratorians begins with a hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) test followed, when reactive, by a nucleic acid test (NAT) to detect HCV RNA to distinguish between past and current infection [8]. The current testing tools and diagnostic sequence has several limitations: first, it takes an average of 7-8 weeks after HCV infection for a person to have a reactive HCV antibody test [9], resulting in missed diagnoses of current HCV infection; second, the 2-step testing approach can lead to incomplete diagnoses when HCV RNA testing is not automatically conducted for all anti-HCV reactive samples; and third, the lack of point-of-care (POC) viral tests in the United States misses opportunities for rapid diagnosis and treatment initiation, which is particularly important in populations that are not engaged in longitudinal care and often heavily affected by hepatitis C. Achieving HCV elimination in the United States requires increased access to simple, accurate, affordable hepatitis C diagnostic tests and treatments in a variety of HCV screening, diagnosis, and treatment settings.
This journal supplement features 8 articles detailing challenges and opportunities for improving hepatitis C diagnostics in support of advancing hepatitis C elimination in the United States.




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