Current and forthcoming perspectives in linkage to care of hepatitis C virus infection: Assessment of an Italian focus group.

Affiliation

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a significant public health problem and is one of the major causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. In recent years many new tools to facilitate widespread HCV screening and new therapeutic options with excellent efficacy and tolerability profiles and cost lowering policies have become available. To fully utilise these new tools, the link between local and specialist centres for the management of HCV infection must be reinforced. In order to GAIN further insight into these aspects, with a particular focus on the Italian scenario, a group of experts met to discuss relevant aspects and open issues on chronic HCV. As a summary of that meeting, the following aspects are here overviewed: (i) global situation of HCV; (ii) screening, diagnosis and indications for the treatment of HCV; (iii) the Italian situation of HCV referrals; (iv) 'hard to reach' patients; (v) treatment of HCV with extrahepatic manifestations; (vi) treatment of patients with advanced cirrhosis. It is the intention of the expert panel to further promote widespread screening and eradication policies that should be accompanied by greater interaction, by attempting to involve all healthcare providers in an organised process to facilitate linkage to care of patients with HCV infections.

Keywords

Eradication,Hepatitis C virus,Linkage to care,