24 Feb, 2019 @ 09:00
1 min read

Doctors in Spain launch three-year plan to eradicate Hepatitis C

Destruction of hepatitis C virus, 3D illustration. Conceptual image for hepatitis C treatment
BLOODBORNE: The Hepatitis C virus

SPANISH doctors have launched an ambitious plan to eradicate Hepatitis C in just three years.

Experts have created a 10-point strategy to treat the 70,000 to 100,000 Spaniards who are unaware that they have the bloodborne virus.

The move is a bid to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements, which stipulate that Hepatitis C must be eliminated by 2021.

EXPERT: Aehve coordinator Javier García-Samaniego

In order to reach those most at risk Aehve have now identified three groups most at risk – drug addicts, gay men having unprotected sex, and immigrants from countries with high prevalence rates.

Scientists have formed the Alliance for the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis (Aehve) and say their plan allows them to ‘get close’ to achieving the three-year goal.

According to the WHO there is no current vaccine for Hepatitis C, but in Spain a drug has been deployed since 2015 to treat over 120,000 people.

AT RISK: Drug users are one group more susceptible to Hepatitis C, according to scientists

The direct-acting antiviral treatment rolled out in 2015 has achieved a 95% success rate in treating patients.

“We are world leaders in this field, with a history of success, but we also have to bear in mind that people are still dying from this illness,” Aehve coordinator Javier García-Samaniego said when Spain’s plan was launched.

The scientists have recommended that non-medical institutions should refer Hepatitis C sufferers, including mental health centres, NGOs and social services.

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