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New Drugs Could Halt U.S. Hepatitis C Epidemic, but Only with Increased Testing and Treatment

Treatment using direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) could have a major impact on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic in the U.S., according to a model published in the November 30 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. A 4-fold increase in treatment rates could prevent over a quarter of a million HCV-related deaths by 2040, and prevalence could be reduced by 90% with the scale up of screening efforts, especially targeting people who inject drugs (PWID). But the investigators caution that elimination of the epidemic with DAAs would require near-universal testing and a 20% annual treatment rate.

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