White House Targets Hepatitis C Eradication: Public Health Labs Key in Treatment

The 2024 White House budget proposes eradicating Hepatitis C virus (HCV) within five years, utilizing highly effective direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies. Despite their availability for nearly a decade, many of the 2.4 million infected Americans, especially those marginalized from routine healthcare, have not received treatment. Public health laboratories stand ready to support this initiative by providing advanced diagnostics and education to healthcare providers reaching these vulnerable populations.

Combatting HCV nationally poses challenges like high treatment costs, limited access to healthcare for at-risk groups, and the virus’s asymptomatic nature causing underdiagnosis. Nonetheless, local successes, such as criminal justice programs, subscription-based drug cost models, and the holistic VA approach, underscore the effectiveness of multidisciplinary strategies. As the White House advances its HCV elimination goal, laboratories with modern diagnostics and HCV expertise will be pivotal in ensuring success.

Reference: White House Initiative Aims to Finally Eliminate Hepatitis C Infection. Hologic. Accessed May 6, 2024. https://www.hologic.com/about/newsroom/white-house-initiative-aims-finally-eliminate-hepatitis-c-infection

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