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JAMA Clinical Guidelines Synopsis
July 27, 2021

Screening for Hepatitis C Virus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2021;326(4):348-349. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.27041

Based on data from 2013 to 2016, an estimated 4.1 million adults in the US had past or current HCV infection.1 During the 21st century, the incidence of acute HCV infection has substantially increased among individuals aged 20 to 49 years.2-4 Hepatitis C virus infection is commonly asymptomatic and associated with no clinical signs of active disease in its early stages. Oral non–interferon-based therapeutics result in undetectable HCV levels (ie, virologic cure) for most patients treated with these well-tolerated, short-term regimens. Untreated HCV infection progresses to a chronic state in more than 50% of individuals with viremia,2 and chronic HCV infection is a leading etiology for both chronic liver disease and liver transplantation in the US. Screening and treatment for HCV infection in the US population are key to mitigating morbidity and mortality.5

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