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Health Agencies Update
February 17, 1999

Hepatitis C Drugs for Veterans

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JAMA. 1999;281(7):600. doi:10.1001/jama.281.7.600-JHA90000-3-1

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is launching an ambitious program offering drug treatment to veterans infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Nearly 4 million Americans are estimated to be infected with the virus; a disproportionate number of them are veterans of the Vietnam era, many of whom had blood transfusions before 1992, when HCV screening of donated blood began.

"Hepatitis C is of particular concern for VA because of its greater prevalence in VA's service population," said Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, VA under secretary for health.

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