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Acta Gastroenterol Belg. 2016 Apr-Jun;79(2):222-6.

Achieving WHO recommendations for Hepatitis C Virus Elimination in Belgium.



The World Health Organization (WHO) released updated guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


A previously described HCV disease burden model was used to develop a "WHO scenario" to achieve the WHO recommendations of a 90% reduction in incidence and 65% reduction in liver-related deaths. After determining the steps necessary to achieve this goal, the impact of realistic constraints was modeled.


In 2015, there were 66.200 viremic infections, with 43% diagnosed and 1.350 treated. In order to reduce new infections, treatment must be extended to ≥ F0 patients, including people who inject drugs and other individuals at risk of transmitting HCV. -Additionally, diagnosis and treatment of 3.030 and 4.060 patients, respectively, would be required. The largest attenuation of the WHO scenario would occur if no new cases were diagnosed after 2018 (300% more viremic infections by 2030). Limiting treatment to ≥ F2 patients or treating fewer patients (3.000) would result in 220% or 140% more viremic cases, respectively, compared with the WHO scenario.


Achieving the WHO guidelines in Belgium requires a coordinated effort to scale up treatment and prevention efforts and to allow treatment access to patients of all fibrosis stages. A scale-up of treatment, however, requires patients to be both diagnosed and linked to care, suggesting a need for increased awareness and expanded screening efforts. Finally, prevention of new HCV infections requires a comprehensive understanding of the population at risk of transmitting HCV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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