Together We Can Eliminate Viral Hepatitis
Global ambition to eliminate viral hepatitis
Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and the number is increasing, despite the existence of curative treatments.1,2
Approximately 14 million (1 in 50) Europeans are chronically infected with HCV – about 20% of the global total.3
HCV is transferred through contact with infected blood and is commonly transmitted through:
• Injectable drug use
• Inadequate sterilisation of medical equipment
• Transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.1
People who inject drugs are at increased risk of acquiring HCV due to sharing syringes, needles and other injecting equipment.1
Estimates suggest that in 2015 there were 1.75 million new HCV infections worldwide and the number of deaths from viral hepatitis infection is increasing.1,4
Figure 1: Global burden of disease in 20165
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) set the goal
of eliminating viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 20302
2014: a new class of medicines, the direct acting antivirals (DAAs) became available as a cure for patients living with chronic HCV infection, achieving cure rates of over 90%.6
The introduction of DAAs has contributed to reductions in:7-10
May 2016: the WHO recognised the opportunity of the new DAAs and released its first global strategy on viral hepatitis.2 It called for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030.
The strategy provides a vision of a world where viral hepatitis transmission is halted and everyone living with viral hepatitis has access to safe, affordable and effective care and treatment.2
Specifically, the strategy defines elimination as:2
An 80% reduction in new HCV infections and
A 65% reduction in HCV mortality
Ambition is not enough: Your role in supporting elimination
Elimination is now more possible than ever.
Currently only 12 countries are on track to achieve the goal and a further 18 which are working towards elimination. This is based on estimates from a global registry, the Polaris Observatory, which provides epidemiological data, modelling tools, and decision analytics in viral hepatitis to support the WHO elimination goal.11
Progress is being made, but there is still more to do. Each and every person who is involved in the care for people living with HCV has a role to play:
Elimination will not happen unless we all work together – everyone has a role to play and every action helps to move towards the WHO goal.
Gilead actively supports the efforts of governments and partners with professional organisations, patient advocacy groups, payers and healthcare professionals around the world who have declared their intention and commitment to work towards the WHO goal of elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030.
Projects: Elimination is happening here
Information on Australia’s approach to elimination of HCV
On course to being the first country worldwide to eliminate HCV
HCV elimination in resource-limited communities
- World Health Organization (WHO). Media Centre Hepatitis C Fact sheet. July 2018. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/ (accessed February 2019).
- World Health Organization (WHO). Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis 2016–2021.June 2016. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/246177/WHO-HIV-2016.06-eng.pdf?sequence=1 (accessed February 2019).
- World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis C in the WHO European Region FACT SHEET. July 2018. Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/377253/fact-sheet-hepatitis-c-eng.pdf?ua=1 (accessed February 2019).
- World Health Organization (WHO). Combating hepatitis b and c to reach elimination by 2030. May 2016. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/206453/WHO_HIV_2016.04_eng.pdf?sequence=1 (accessed February 2019).
- GBD 2016 Causes of Death Collaborators. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific mortality for 264 causes of death, 1980–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017;390:1151–210.
- Solbach P and Wedemeyer H. The New Era of Interferon-Free Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C. Viszeralmedizin 2015;31:290–6.
- Olafsson S, et al. Treatment as Prevention for Hepatitis C (TraP Hep C) – a nationwide elimination programme in Iceland using direct-acting antiviral agents. J Intern Med 2018;283:500–7.
- Turnes J, et al. Value and innovation of direct-acting antivirals: long-term health outcomes of the strategic plan for the management of hepatitis C in Spain. Rev Esp Enferm Dig 2017;109:809–17.
- Carrat F, et al. Clinical outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis C after direct-acting antiviral treatment: a prospective cohort study. Lancet 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32111-1.
- Duberg S-F, et al. The future disease burden of hepatitis C virus infection in Sweden and the impact of different treatment strategies. Scand J Gastroenterol 2015;50:233–44.
- The POLARIS Observatory. Available at: http://cdafound.org/polaris/ (accessed February 2019).
LID/IHQ/18-12//1048h(1) Date of preparation August 2019