Globally, the morbidity and mortality attributable to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection continues to increase. Approximately 700 000 persons die each year from HCV- related complications, which include cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver failure. HCV infection can be cured by antiviral treatment; however, due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease, many infected persons are unaware of their infection and, for those who are diagnosed, access to treatment remains poor in many settings.
WHO updated its hepatitis C treatment guidelines to provide recommendations for the use of these new medicines. The objectives of these WHO guidelines are to provide updated evidence- based recommendations for the treatment of persons with hepatitis C infection using, where possible, all DAA-only combinations. The guidelines also provide recommendations on the preferred regimens based on a patient’s HCV genotype and clinical history, and assess the appropriateness of continued use of certain medicines. This document also includes existing recommendations on screening for HCV infection and care of persons infected with HCV that were first issued in 2014. The key audience for these guidelines are policy-makers in low- and middle-income countries who formulate country-specific treatment guidelines and who plan infectious disease treatment programmes and services, in addition to those people responsible for delivering treatment. The guidelines are appropriate for all countries, including high-income countries.
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