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March 2, 2020

Universal Screening for Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Step Toward Elimination

Author Affiliations
  • 1Viral Hepatitis Center, Division of Infectious Disease, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Viral Hepatitis Program, Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 3Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2020;323(10):936-937. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22313

In this issue of JAMA, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued new recommendations for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection screening in the asymptomatic US population.1 Based on an updated review of the evidence,2 the task force now “recommends screening for HCV infection in adults aged 18 to 79 years (B recommendation),”1 regardless of known risk factors. Adolescents who engage in injection drug use or other behaviors associated with acquisition of HCV should also be screened. Screening all adults has been shown to be cost-effective, and a B recommendation means that insurance companies will provide reimbursement for hepatitis C testing without cost-sharing by patients.