- Last Update On : 2013-01-20
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) persists as a chronic infection in 75 to 85% of individuals. Approximately 20% of infected persons will progress to cirrhosis within 20 years and up to 5% will die from HCV-related liver disease. Today, HCV infection is the leading indication for liver transplantation.
In 1998, CDC recommended HCV testing for individuals at high risk for HCV transmission, including those who had injected drugs, been hemodialysed, transfused or transplanted before July 1992, or received clotting factor concentrates produced before 1987. Screening also was recommended for persons with occupational sharps exposures, children born to HCV-infected mothers and individuals with persistently elevated ALT levels and individuals infected with HIV.
Unfortunately, this risk-based testing strategy has had limited success, as evidenced by the substantial number of HCV-infected persons who remain unaware of their infection. Of the estimated 2.7–3.9 million persons infected