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Editorial
March 2, 2020

Updated Hepatitis C Virus Screening Recommendation—A Step Forward

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(5):637-639. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.7334

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne pathogen in the United States, with an estimated 2.4 million people in the US living with HCV, and leads to substantial morbidity and mortality.1 Between 2003 and 2013, the number of HCV-associated deaths in the US exceeded that of the top 60 other notifiable infectious conditions combined.2 Moreover, prior to 2014, only half of people living with HCV were aware that they were infected, and just 9% had been treated and cured.3 In 2013, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended screening for HCV infection in persons at high risk for infection and one-time screening in adults born between 1945 and 1965.4 In 2020, the USPSTF has updated its recommendation,5 as well as the evidence report and systematic review,6 to expand the ages for screening to all adults aged 18 to 79 years (B recommendation) and concluded with moderate certainty that implementing such screening will have substantial net benefit. The updated recommendation aligns with joint American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases–Infectious Diseases Society of America recommendations for one-time HCV testing in all adults 18 years or older.7 Recent developments inform the updated USPSTF HCV screening recommendation.

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