Georgia. It’s a country halfway across the world at the cross-section of Europe and Asia, in between Russia and Turkey. With a population of nearly 4.5 million, it’s comparable to a medium-sized state in the U.S. It also, until recently, claimed one of the highest rates of hepatitis C across the globe. In an aggressive number this number, healthcare officials established an unprecedented trial to screen a number of patients that would reach 90% of all patients for treatment and cure. The treatment used in this initiative, direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), are reported by the CDC to cure approximately 90% of patients who take the medicine as instructed.
Over the past year, progress continues to be made in this nation toward the eradication of Hepatitis C, according to a special report released by the Centers for Disease Control. In light of this success, how can other nations around the world take note and make improvements at home? These are just some of the questions raised by this important recent study.
The study in Georgia has impacted 27,392 participants so far. Between April 28th, 2015 and April 27, 2016, 69.2% of patients registered and identified with HCV (the virus that causes hepatitis C) successfully completed treatment. While this is not quite in line with the goal of 90% of affected patients treated, this progress, especially for patients with or in danger of contracting liver disease, is an important step in improving overall quality and length of life.
In escalating this issue of national concern, Georgia helps to illuminate the prevalence of chronic illnesses like hepatitis C on an international stage. According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis C presents itself as a strong candidate for eradication, due to the fact that humans are the sole hosts for the HCV virus, and a cure is currently available. While this illness can lead to serious liver damage and even death in its end stages, what was once thought as a lifelong chronic illness can be cured, and one day, completed eliminated. If you’re concerned about hepatitis C, have questions or you need to get tested, we can help.