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AASLD 2014: Screening Baby Boomers for HCV More Effective than Risk-based Testing

Age cohort screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) identified 4 times as many people as prevailing screening protocols and can be "feasibly implemented," according to research presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting last month in Boston.

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July 28 Is World Hepatitis Day [VIDEO]

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and its consequences. This year's theme -- "Think Again" -- emphasizes that while hepatitis B and C are major causes of death worldwide, viral hepatitis remains remarkably neglected. The World Health Organization (WHO) and others held a press briefing at the 20th International AIDS Conference last week in Melbourne to raise awareness.

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Sunday is Hepatitis Testing Day -- All Baby Boomers Should Get Hep C Test

May 19 is the second annual Viral Hepatitis Testing Day, an opportunity to raise awareness among healthcare providers and the public about screening for chronic hepatitis B and C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 75% of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are not aware they are infected.alt

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Medicare Will Cover Hepatitis C Screening for Baby Boomers and People at Risk

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that Medicare will cover hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening for adults born between 1945 and 1965, as well as others considered at risk, when requested by a primary care physician or other providers within a primary care setting.

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CDC: Hepatitis C Testing Requires Both Antibody Screening and HCV RNA Follow-up

Half of all people who receive an initial hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody screening test never return for follow-up viral load testing to determine if they are still infected, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study. Confirmatory testing is needed to link people with chronic hepatitis C to appropriate care and treatment. "You may not remember what you did in the 60s and 70s," said CDC director Thomas Frieden,"but your liver does."

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May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day

May 19 is the third annual National Hepatitis Testing Day, an opportunity to raise awareness among healthcare providers and the public about screening for hepatitis B and C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among the approximately 3 million people with hepatitis C in the U.S., an estimated 75% do not know they are infected.

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Task Force Recommends Hepatitis C Screening for Baby Boomers, but Data Inconclusive

Adults born between 1945 and 1965 should consider screening for hepatitis C, with a stronger recommendation for people with risk factors such as a history of injection drug use or blood transfusions before 1992, according to draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). A set of literature reviews, however, found that data on the benefits of testing are lacking.alt

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May Is Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month in the U.S., an opportunity to promote better understanding of viral hepatitis and to encourage more people to get tested and receive care for hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis Testing Day is coming up on May 19.

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CDC Expands Hepatitis C Testing Guidelines to Include All Baby Boomers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week updated its hepatitis C testing guidelines to recommend that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) at least once, regardless of traditional risk factors.alt

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AASLD 2013: Expanded Hepatitis C Screening Needed for Veterans, Baby Boomers, Pregnant Women

Two large studies of the "Baby Boom" generation in the U.S. suggest that at least 50,000 military veterans may have undiagnosed hepatitis C, and that around 80% of patients born between 1945 and 1965 receiving care through 4 large primary health care systems could be undiagnosed, according to presentations at the 64th AASLD Liver Meeting in Washington DC. Other research showed that screening pregnant women for hepatitis C on the basis of self-disclosed risk factors would have missed almost three-quarters infections in this population between 2003 and 2010.

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National Hepatitis Testing Day: Most Infected Are Unaware, All Boomers Should Get HCV Test

In advance of the National Hepatitis Testing Day on Saturday, May 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new recommendation that all Baby Boomers born between 1945 and 1965 should get tested at least once for hepatitis C. Testing Day events will also promote hepatitis B screening, especially for Asian communities. Research shows that a large majority of people with hepatitis B or C do not know they are infected.alt

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AASLD 2013: Veterans Study Supports CDC Recommendation to Screen Baby Boomers for Hep C

A study of more than 5.5 million U.S. veterans presented at the 64thAASLD Liver Meeting this week in Washington, DC, found that 10% of those born between 1945 and 1965 tested positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) -- compared with just 1%-2% of older or younger individuals -- providing support for recent recommendations that everyone in this age group should be screened for HCV regardless of risk factors.

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AASLD 2011: HCV Screening of 1945-1965 Birth Cohort Appears Cost-Effective

Screening all people in the U.S. in the 46 to 66 year age group for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection would identify more than 800,000 additional cases, and offering testing plus treatment if needed would be cost-effective, according to an analysis presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Liver Meeting (AASLD 2011) this month in San Francisco.alt

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Hepatitis C Is Often Not Diagnosed Until Symptoms Occur

Nearly half of surveyed people with hepatitis C were not tested for the virus until they developed clinical signs and symptoms such as elevated liver enzymes or jaundice, according to a study described in the August 16, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. These findings support U.S. guidelines calling for all "Baby Boomers" born during 1945-1965 to be tested regardless of risk factors.

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FDA OKs New Abbott HCV Test

Abbott last week announced that the FDA approved a new PCR blood test for hepatitis C virus (HCV) with a 12 IU/mL limit of detection and quantification.

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U.S. Task Force Recommends Hepatitis C Tests for All Baby Boomers

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) this week recommended that all residents born between 1945 and 1965 should receive hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening as part of their routine health care, strengthening a recommendation issued last fall.
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Screen for HCV Based on Age, Not Risk Factors

More people with chronic hepatitis C could be identified and treated if healthcare providers routinely screen all "baby boomers plus" born between 1946 and 1970, rather than only people traditionally considered at risk.

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FDA Approves First Standardized Hepatitis C Virus Genotype Test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved a new standardized laboratory test -- dubbed the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II -- for determining genotypes and subtypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV).

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FDA Approves HCV Rapid Antibody Test for Fingerstick Blood Samples

OraSure Technologies, Inc. announced this week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test for detecting hepatitis C virus (HCV) in blood from a simple fingerstick. This new indication for the test -- which was previously approved for testing blood drawn from a vein -- will simplify HCV screening, especially in non-clinical settings.

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