Feb. 9, 2012, 12:00 p.m. EST
Recommendations Include Expanded Testing with Rapid Point-of-Care HCV Test
CLARK, N.J., Feb 9, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- The Chronic Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF), a leading educational organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the effect of chronic liver disease (CLD) in the United States, issued today a position paper in support of expanding screening for hepatitis C (HCV) in the United States.
The position paper, "Endorsement of Birth-Cohort Approach to Expand Screening for Hepatitis C," outlines the CLDF's recommendations for a more effective strategy to identify patients with HCV infection and link such patients to expert care and treatment.
HCV is the most common blood-borne chronic viral infection in the U.S., with more than four million Americans currently infected with the HCV virus. Of these, up to 75 percent are unaware of their infection. Individuals born between the years of 1945 and 1965 have an HCV prevalence level four times higher than those born outside the birth cohort.
While the CDC currently recommends HCV screening only for individuals found to be at risk for the HCV infection, it is currently evaluating the potential benefits of using a birth-cohort based approach to HCV screening to help increase identification of HCV-positive patients.
The CLDF issued the following recommendations in support of the expansion of HCV screening efforts:
- Routine screening for HCV among persons born between 1945 and 1965
- Use of the OraQuick HCV rapid point-of-care test to expand testing opportunities and facilitate immediate care
- Educational programs aimed at primary care providers to increase awareness of HCV risk factors
- Testing for HCV in primary care setting with established linkages to HCV
- Creative ways to increase access to HCV testing and care for injection-drug users and other underserved populations.
"Today, more than 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C and the vast majority does not know it," said Dr. Willis C. Maddrey, President of the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. "Hepatitis C is a leading cause of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. However, new therapies are now available that can effectively treat a high percentage of people with HCV infection, making expanded and accessible testing for HCV -- particularly among those born between 1945 and 1965 -- a critical step in fighting this epidemic."
About the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation
Established in 2001, the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to providing hepatology related continuing medical education, news and information to healthcare professionals across the US. The CLDF is led by a Board of Trustees comprised of nationally renowned liver disease specialists. Furthermore, the CLDF believes that educational programs should be developed by the specialists who are actively involved in the research, treatment and management of a disease. As such, the CLDF has developed a network of 75 Centers of Educational Expertise and multiple Advisory Boards who are actively involved in program creation related to specific disease topics which include: hemochromatosis, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatocellular carcinoma, HIV co-infection, liver transplantation and NASH/NAFLD. The CLDF's educational opportunities are offered in a variety of formats including an interactive web site, live meetings, teleconferences, print pieces, webcasts and other electronic mediums. For more information, please visit www.chronicliverdisease.org .
This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, www.globenewswire.com
SOURCE: Chronic Liver Disease Foundation
CONTACT: CLDF Media Contact: