Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C

Posted 17 September, 2020
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Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health challenge
for Australia, affecting about 200 000 people who are at risk of progressive
liver fibrosis leading to cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma
(HCC). HCV infection is the most common cause of liver disease requiring
liver transplantation in Australia. However, HCV infection is curable, and viral
eradication is associated with multiple clinical benefits, including improvement
in quality of life, loss of infectivity, regression of cirrhosis, lower risk of liver
failure and HCC, and reduction in mortality. Until recently, the treatment
of HCV involved interferon therapy, which had limited efficacy and was
poorly tolerated. The introduction of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies
for HCV that are highly effective and well tolerated was a major medical
advance. All Australian adults living with HCV should now be considered
for antiviral therapy. DAAs may be prescribed by any medical practitioner
or nurse practitioner experienced in treating HCV, or in consultation with a
specialist experienced in the treatment of HCV, meaning that treatment can
occur in the community.
This document presents the Australian recommendations for the management
of hepatitis C virus infection: a consensus statement (June 2020). This is a living
document that will be updated as new data emerge. Grading of the levels of
evidence for the recommendations is described in Section 15.


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