In August 2012, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued final guidance recommending that all people born from 1945 to 1965 be tested once for Hepatitis C virus (HCV). This recommendation was based upon an analysis of the 1999-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which found that one in 30 baby boomers is infected with Hepatitis C. Baby boomers account for 75% of HCV prevalence in the United States. Many were infected prior to any awareness of HCV, and consequently, any understanding of how HCV is transmitted. Most HCV infected individuals are asymptomatic and unaware of their infection until significant complications from chronic HCV occur.
HCV is the most common bloodborne illness in the US with an estimated 2.7 million to 3.9 million people living with the disease. The virus is spread through exposure to contaminated blood. HCV can also be transferred through sharing of personal items such as a razor or toothbrush. Approximately 80% of patients with HCV have no symptoms. Despite delayed onset of symptoms in many patients, HCV- infected patients are at an increased risk of developing many serious complications.
Our goal at DDAR is to diagnose early and initiate treatment to prevent future complications. Our physicians, in collaboration with Deborha Caputo CNP, understand that treatment and management of HCV patients must be customized for each patient. As such, we stay abreast of all updates and progress in HCV treatment and therapy. We are optimistic that the 20+ new HCV treatments in clinical research trials in the U.S. will pave the way for further improvements in DDAR’s HCV patient management.
Please check with your physician about Hepatitis C Virus screening during your next office visit.